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OP ED: KIDS’ SAFETY RIGHTS VIOLATED

LEARNERS CONTINUING TO ENCOUNTER DANGERS ON THEIR WAY TO SCHOOL AND ON SCHOOL PREMISES

*Published by The Cape Argus on 11 June 2019

By Ntsiki Dlulani (Head of Equal Education Western Cape), Chwayita Wenana (Deputy Head of Equal Education Western Cape) and Stacey Jacobs (Equal Education Researcher)

When Grade 11 Khayelitsha learner Yonda Magubudela reflects on National Child Protection Week, she thinks about when and where she feels unsafe.

“I feel unsafe and unprotected at school because we have no trained security guard,” says the Equal Education member (EE Equaliser).

“The environment we live in is full of gangsterism and crime. We can’t study and we are afraid of going to school. At school, we experience crime whereby outside people come into our school premises during break time to rob learners.”

National Child Protection Week (June 2 to 9) raises awareness of the rights of children. Section 28 of the Constitution clearly articulates the right to be “protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation”.

Yonda demands that the Department of Social Development provide at least one social worker to every school to ensure learners have someone to confide in if being abused.

As a social movement advocating for quality and equality in the education system, we consider Child Protection Week an appropriate moment to raise awareness about the dangers learners encounter on their way to school and within the school gates.

Read the full opinion piece here.

Leanne Jansen-ThomasOP ED: KIDS’ SAFETY RIGHTS VIOLATED