Minister Schäfer – Irresponsible behaviour on Guy Fawkes day must come to an end
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
Every year we receive reports of learners behaving in an irresponsible manner on Guy Fawkes Day. Last year we received reports of learners throwing stockings filled with paint at motor vehicles, or joining in to smear fellow learners with paint. Other dangerous behaviour has also been reported, and in previous years it even resulted in physical harm to innocent learners and bystanders.
As a result of this irresponsible behaviour, there is an increased absenteeism in certain schools during this period, since some learners do not attend school in order to participate in these irresponsible and potentially dangerous activities. Others do not attend school through fear of being targeted either to or from school.
We have contacted the South African Police Service and the City of Cape Town Law Enforcement and requested their visible presence in areas where this practice has traditionally been common, particularly in the vicinity of schools.
While our schools will employ their own overall safety and disciplinary measures to manage learners at school level, we appeal to parents to take responsibility for their children by:
- ensuring that their children attend school on Tuesday, 5 November 2019, which is a normal teaching and learning day where normal school hours apply
- dissuading their children from participating in irresponsible activities and ensuring there is no disruption of schooling
- ensuring that their children are supervised after school hours
- monitoring their children’s behaviour and checking their school bags for any fireworks or other materials such as paint before leaving home, as learners are not permitted to bring any fireworks onto any school premises
Our primary concern is the continued orderly functioning of our schools and the general safety of all children. Our Grade 12 learners will also be writing their Geography examinations. It would be very unfortunate and infuriating if these examinations are disrupted in any way because these learners were targeted ahead of such an important matric examination.
I appeal that everyone works together as a collective community to discourage this disruptive and dangerous behavior.
This must now come to end.
Please contact Bronagh Hammond via whatsapp for soundbite from Minister Schafer which has already been prepared.
Western Cape Education Department
072 7241422 (please whatsapp or sms me if unavailable)