To: President Ramaphosa

Make SA schools safe spaces for children and learning

RISE Mzansi calls on the government to prioritise and properly equip the School Governing Bodies (SGBs), Principals and School Safety Committees (SSCs) to have the training and tools to at least be able to follow the minimum standards set out in National School Safety Framework and ensure the following are evaluated and implemented effectively:

•Minimum school-level policies and procedures are implemented and enforced, and learners, educators and non-educator staff are all aware of the contents of these policies;

•Safety audits are undertaken annually to stay abreast of the issues affecting safety and contributing to violence within the school.

•Safety plans are formulated, adopted, submitted and revised annually to respond to the safety threats within the school.

•There is constant engagement with community structures and actors that have specific roles to play in addressing violence occurring in the school.

•School safety committees are established and functional.
•Reporting and response systems are developed, utilised, and reviewed continuously to improve reporting mechanisms.

•Monthly recording and reporting systems have been established and utilised

•Referral systems are established and functional.
The most important responsibility of any government is to keep people safe, and our children most of all and RISE Mzansi does not see crime prevention in isolation.

Why is this important?

As learners return to class, RISE Mzansi calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to prioritise, among other issues, School Safety during this year’s State of Nation Address (SONA).
In 2015, the National Schools Safety Framework was launched to guide the Department of Basic Education, schools, districts and provinces to ensure a common understanding of the extent of school violence and provide evidence on how to mitigate it.

The plan to work with SAPS and the Department of Social Development (DSD) to protect learners and combat social ills, has had little effect as South Africans see a rise in violence at schools and teenage pregnancies which saw an increase from 90 000 in 2022 to 150 000 in 2023 [1].

From January to September 2023, there were 27 murders, 59 attempted murders, 707 assaults and shockingly 229 rapes [2] on at educational facilities, contributing to the rise in pregnancies and dropout rate for adolescent girls.

If you sign this petition you are helping us get a step closer to ensuring that schools are a safe learning environment for parents and teachers.

References
[1] SAPS, 2023. Crime statistics. https://www.saps.gov.za/services/crimestats.php
[2] SABC News, 2023. Adolescent/ Teenage Pregancy in South Africa. https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/infographic-adolescent-teenage-pregnancy-crisis-in-south-africa/#:~:text=Current%20statistics%20on%20adolescent%2Fteenage,the%202022%2F2023%20financial%20year.

How it will be delivered

We plan on delivering the petition to the Presidency after the 02nd of February

South Africa

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