In August 2014, each Equaliser branch in the Western Cape undertook a democratic process of identifying major obstacles to quality teaching and learning at their schools. We found that safety was a major problem in many schools, and have since launched a provincial campaign on these issues.
EE members in every part of the Western Cape where we are organised have had to deal with issues of violence, gangsterism, drugs, poor access control, sexual harassment and corporal punishment from when they were in primary school. According to the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention, among all provinces, the Western Cape has the highest or second highest rate of assault, sexual assault, robbery, and threat of violence in schools. The impact this has on a young person’s capacity to learn, and on a teacher’s capacity to educate, is unquestionable.