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PRESENTATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION 4 AUGUST 2015

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Title: PRESENTATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC EDUCATION 4 AUGUST 2015


1
PRESENTATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON BASIC
EDUCATION 4 AUGUST 2015
  • School Safety, Violence and Bullying

2
OVERVIEW OF PRESENTATION
  • BACKGROUND
  • Violence in South African Schools
  • Approaches that does not work
  • Effective Strategies to address School Violence
  • Current data on school violence
  • Key Findings of the National School Violence
    Study (NSVS) 2012/2013
  • Department of Basic Education (DBE) Response to
    School Safety
  • Ecological Model Explained
  • Earlier Departmental Response
  • Current Programmes
  • National School Safety Framework
  • Focus of the DBE-SAPS Protocol

3
BACKGROUND
  • Violence continues to plague South Africa, the
    roots of which lie in our legacy of apartheid,
    our current socio-economic realities, including
    extreme inequality and our discriminatory
    cultural gender norms.
  • Experiences of violence at school, and related to
    the school environment, are common throughout the
    country.
  • Safety and nonviolence in schools are critical
    requirements to the achievement of educational
    outcomes and integral to our vision for quality
    basic education.
  • While levels may be high, this is not unique to
    South Africa School Violence is common enough
    throughout the world to have warranted the
    establishment over the past two decades of
    various national and international commissions
    and committees and expert groups such as those
    established by UNESCO and UNICEF.
  • Does not suggest that less attention should be
    paid to the phenomenon, but provides an evidence
    base for our work in this area.
  •  

4
APPROACHES THAT DO NOT WORK
  • Common approaches or interventions that may
    appear sensible, intuitive or promising, but that
    have substantial scientific evidence to show that
    they do not work in the long term.
  • These include
  • Regular or prolonged presence of police in
    schools this approach has been shown to
    increase mistrust in the police, undermine
    respect for authority, negatively affect
    concentration and school performance, as well as
    often leading to profiling and targeting of
    certain at-risk learners who require
    interventions other than those bringing them into
    contact with the law. Reliance on police, and
    security guards, result in a dependence on law
    enforcement to maintain discipline, and interfere
    in education.
  • Armed security guards these often assume the
    role of police, have no effect in identifying
    and mediating potential conflict, and have been
    shown to have no effect in preventing gun
    violence.
  • Zero tolerance approaches to drugs, alcohol and
    violence these policies serve to marginalize
    problematic learners, and fail to address root
    causes. Zero tolerance approaches are more
    likely to exclude children from the formal
    education system, increasing risk of further and
    more serious contact with the law.
  • Metal detectors (when provided as part of an
    infrastructure programme and nothing else)
    these have been shown in some instances to
    decrease the likelihood of guns at schools, but
    have no impact on other weapons including knives.
    They have also been shown to have no impact at
    all when rolled out in isolation of other
    interventions.
  • Investing in after-school or other school-related
    recreational activities (and passive
    encouragement of participation in these) will not
    necessarily result in an improved school climate
    and decrease in school strain (strongly
    correlated with violence and the lack of safety
    ). These may only be effective when coupled with
    cognitive behaviour or evidence-based parenting
    interventions.

5
EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS SCHOOL VIOLENCE
  • The most effective evidence-based strategies to
    prevent and address school violence are by
    nature, medium to long term, and are focused
    primarily on institutional change, capacity
    building, school management and partnerships.
  • Examples
  • Focus on reducing class sizes
  • Invest in educator training
  • Provide support and training for educators to
    identify learners at risk.
  • Provide support and training for educators on
    classroom management and behaviour management
  • Related to the above, training for educators to
    identify learners at-risk. Violence is rarely
    impulsive, and is usually the culmination of a
    series of other, more minor acts. Capacity and
    accountability must be built to investigate all
    reports and suspicion of risk/threat early on
  • Build relationships between schools and parents,
    community leaders
  • Increase educator to learner ratios not just in
    classrooms but to monitor open and unsafe spaces
    (as identified by learners)
  • Increase access to counsellors/social workers
  • Accountable school management educators in
    classrooms, managing classes, overseeing
    learners, and accountability for this not
    happening.
  • All the above are premised on the participation
    and voices of all within the school system, and
    the embedding of these relationships within
    broader community relationships and structures.
    South African research shows that even those
    schools that against the odds are successfully
    managed for safety, often encounter difficulties
    in engagement with SAPS and local government.
    This is in part due to different
    conceptualizations of roles and responsibilities,
    and of the best approaches to take, as well as
    simply unresponsiveness on the part of other
    community and government stakeholders.

6
Continued
  • Successful shorter term strategies include
  • Provide learners a voice, ensure participation,
    in identifying safety concerns and geographies,
    and developing measures to enhance safety
  • Ensure commitment and engagement of parents and
    community members, with VERY defined roles and
    responsibilities, to monitor boundaries, entrance
    and egress points at specific times of days
    (roles need to be clearly defined, and the
    success is contingent on responsive authorities)
    in some high risk communities, SAPS can be
    engaged not within the school, but outside of
    school grounds, at specific times of the day.
  • Building transparency and trust within schools,
    with safety seen as a shared and common good, and
    learners and all within the school aware of
    processes, responsibilities, and strategies
  • In relation to school climate, specifically
    reward or recognize those students committed to
    or doing well within the school environment.
  • Substantial evidence exists of the benefit of
    investing in evidence-based approaches. For
    example, positive behavioural intervention and
    support reflects a broader public health and
    socio-ecological model to violence prevention and
    school safety. At a primary level, it involved
    all learners in efforts to teach and integrate
    social skills and behaviour management into
    everyday teaching and at a secondary level, it
    focuses on children who may be struggling
    academically or socially (i.e. at-risk).

7
CURRENT DATA ON VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS
  • In 2008, Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention
    (CJCP) conducted the first baseline study on
    school violence in South Africa which was
    followed up with a second study in 2012/2013.
  • The 2008 study found that 22 of the secondary
    school learners surveyed had experienced some
    form of violence in the 12 months preceding the
    study.
  • According to the National School Violence Study
    (NSVS) 2012/2013, 22.2 of high school learners
    were found to have been threatened with violence
    or had been the victim of an assault, robbery
    and/or sexual assault at school in the past year.
  • In total, more than a fifth of learners had
    experienced violence at school.
  • 12.2 had been threatened with violence by
    someone at school
  • 6.3 had been assaulted (excluding corporal
    punishment)
  • 4.7 had been sexually assaulted or raped
  • 4.5 had been robbed at school.

8
CONTINUED
  • 20 of learners had experienced some form of
    cyber bullying in the past year.
  • Violence at schools was often not a once-off
    encounter.
  • Violence was not limited to incidents between
    learners
  • The classroom is the primary site of
    victimization and violence - often happening when
    no teacher is present
  • Educators were also often victims of verbal
    violence (52.1), physical violence (12.4) and
    sexual violence (3.3) perpetrated by learners.

9
CONTINUED
  • Like the 2008 study, the 2012 NSVS highlighted
    the extent to which family and community factors
    intersect with the levels of violence occurring
    at schools.
  • Communities with high neighbourhood crime and
    violence experience higher levels of crime and
    violence in their schools.

10
Location of violence
Threats Assault Sexual assault Robbery Theft
Classrooms 44.3 51.0 54.2 60.2 91.5
School gate area 1.0 0.6 0.0 0.8 0.0
Playing fields 25.0 24.8 13.2 14.0 4.6
Corridors 11.1 5.0 11.4 7.2 1.1
Toilets 4.1 5.5 12.5 6.8 0.3
Other open grounds 13.5 11.8 6.6 6.4 1.0
Halls 1.0 0.6 0.4 1.1 0.2
Principals office 0.0 0.6 0.0 3.4 0.6
11
Perpetrators of violence
12
Experiences of violence, by province ( of
learners reporting victimisation including theft)
13
CONTINUED
  • The Western Cape, Limpopo and Free State emerged
    as the provinces with the highest frequency of
    threats of violence in both 2008 and 2012. In the
    case of robbery, the Free State and the Western
    Cape had the highest rates in both 2008 and 2012.
  • Differences were, however, noted for the crimes
    of assault and sexual assault. Although the
    Western Cape emerged as one of the provinces
    where assault was highest in both 2008 and 2012,
    it was the only province in the top three that
    remained unchanged.
  • In the case of sexual assault, none of the
    provinces with the highest frequency of this
    crime in 2008 (that is, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and
    KwaZulu-Natal) were among the top three provinces
  • for this crime in 2012 )
  • Overall, as in 2008, the Free State and Western
    Cape provinces demonstrated the highest frequency
    of incidents across all the crime categories
    assessed.
  • The level of violence within Western Cape schools
    may be expected given the recent upsurge in
    gang-related activities in several communities
    across the province. The issue has prompted the
    provincial department of education to focus on
    new interventions in an attempt to stem the tide
    of violence, for example the deployment of Metro
    police officers in selected schools.
  • Although the presence of school resource officers
    in schools was initially associated with lower
    levels of fear of crime and increased perceptions
    of learner safety at schools,12 years later
    studies have found that the visibility of school
    resource officers increases resistance and
    anti-social behaviour among learners and erodes
    educatorlearner relationships.

14
DBE RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS
  • The DBE response to school safety is underpinned
    by the following
  • School violence is undergirded by a myriad of
    individual, school, family and broader
    community-level risk factors that coalesce to
    create vulnerability for violence.
  • Any attempt to curb violence occurring in schools
    needs to extend beyond the school itself.
  • Parental Community support, including
    prevention and early intervention are the most
    reliable and cost-effective ways to support
    school safety

15
CONTINUED
  • The DBE uses an Ecological Model to address
    Violence in Schools

16
ECOLOGICAL MODEL EXPLAINED
17
DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSES
  • In 2006, after the South African Human Rights
    Commission report on Violence in school, the
    department with the support of UNICEF implemented
    guidelines to schools on Creating Safe, Caring
    Child Friendly Schools. Several provinces were
    part of the Creating Safe, Caring Child Friendly
    Schools initiative.
  • The 2008 NSVS, revealed that most schools had
    similar safety and security challenges, which
    were grouped as follows
  • Physical infrastructure and equipment
  • Safety and Security
  • Management and Governance
  • Partnership
  • The department, supported by CJCP developed the
    Early Warning System, a guide and management tool
    for principals, school management teams, school
    governing bodies, teachers and learners to
    identify and report on risks and threats at
    schools. This included the development of
    material and training for teachers.

18
CURRENT PROGRAMMES
  • School safety the prevention and management of
    crime is a shared mandate, hence DBE collaborates
    with other relevant departments
  • In 2011 the DBE SAPS signed a protocol to
    reduce crime and violence in schools and in
    communities
  • The Strategic Objective of this Protocol falls
    under the Care and Support for Teaching and
    Learning Programme to address incidents of crime
    and violence in a holistic and integrated manner.

19
NATIONAL SCHOOL SAFETY FRAMEWORK (NSSF)
  • The National School Safety Framework was approved
    in April 2015 and the training of identified
    Provincial Master Trainers in all nine provinces
    have commenced on 29 June and will be completed
    by the end of August 2015.
  • The National School Safety Framework (NSSF)
    provides an important instrument through which
    minimum standards for safety at school can be
    established, implemented and monitored, and for
    which schools, districts and provinces can be
    held accountable.
  • The Framework is premised on the assumption that
    each person in the school experience safety in
    different ways, and has different safety needs,
    and it provides schools with the tools to
    identify what these experiences are, and the
    steps that need to be taken to address individual
    needs.
  • At the same time the Framework provides a
    systematic approach to ensuring that each member
    in the school body plays their role in creating
    and maintaining safe school spaces.
  • Implementation.
  • Provincial Master Trainers will be expected to
    cascade this training to all schools in the
    different provinces.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation The framework will be
    supported by a clear implementation roll out
    plan, standardized school safety indicators, and
    a national reporting and referral system through
    the utilisation of the South Africa School
    Administrative and Management System (SASAMS).
    Provision in is made on the SASAMS for principals
    to report on behaviour transgressions and the
    different categories of crime and violence.

20
THE FOCUS OF THE DBE-SAPS PROTOCOL
  • To strengthen School Safety Committees in
    addressing crime and violence in schools as part
    of its mandate
  • To assume an active role as a member of Safe
    School Committees
  • To link all schools to Local Police Stations
  • To raise awareness amongst children and young
    learners regarding crime and violence and its
    impact on individuals, families and education
  • To mobilize communities to take ownership of
    schools
  • To encourage the establishment of reporting
    systems at schools and,
  • To implement school-based crime prevention
    programmes in collaboration with provincial,
    district/local officials responsible for school
    safety
  • Progress
  • 16 406 schools have been linked and established
    School Safety Committees (Verified)
  • Commitments of the Partnership Protocol is
    currently under review to include issues related
    to
  • Combatting the Use of Alcohol and Illegal
    Substances
  • Conducting Search and Seizures to remove drugs
    and weapons from schools
  • Drug testing of learners
  • Closure of taverns in the vicinity of schools
  • Addressing gangs in schools

21
Code of Conduct for Learners
  • An exemplar Code of Conduct has been developed by
    the Department and distributed to all Provinces
    to serve as an example for schools to develop
    their own context specific Codes of Conduct for
    Learners.
  • The SASA identifies 5 levels behaviour
    transgressions. Levels one to three can be
    managed internally by teachers, the principal,
    and senior management team members. Levels 4-5
    warrants the intervention of the District-based
    support teams or professionals and warrants
    recommendations in terms of possible expulsion,
    e.g. threatening the lives of fellow learners
    (involvement of dangerous weapons), rape, sexual
    violence, constant use of illegal substances or
    trafficking of illegal substances, violence
    against a teacher.
  • The SASA makes it clear that no learner can be
    exempted from the specifications of the Code of
    Conduct for Learners in terms of what
    constitutes appropriate behaviour and the
    consequences of ill behaviour.
  • Parents and learners agree to the determinations
    of the Code of Conduct and sign an agreement at
    the beginning of each year.

22
PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF BULLYING IN SCHOOLS
  • Training manuals on the Prevention and Management
    of Bullying (Cyber and Homophobic Bullying
    included) have been developed and Provincial
    Master Trainers have been trained in all nine
    provinces .
  • 3743 Provincial Master Trainers have been trained
    and 12 354 schools have been trained by the
    Provincial Master Trainers
  • DBE has developed E-Safety Guidelines to address
    cyber-bullying in collaboration with the
    Directorate Curriculum Innovation, which was
    electronically distributed to provinces.
  • The Department is working on a National
    Anti-Bullying and Behaviour Change Campaign to be
    launched in due course.
  • Specific effort is made to include schools for
    learners with special needs in this training,
    which will be implemented by provinces.

23
National Strategy for the Prevention and
Management of Alcohol and Drug Use amongst
Learners in Schools Guide to Drug Testing in
South African Schools
  • Strategy and Guidelines have been printed and
    distributed to all provinces.
  • Strategy and guidelines have been communicated
    and facilitated at interprovincial meetings for
    School Safety.
  • Drug testing guidelines has been developed
    through support of UNICEF and distributed to all
    provinces for implementation.
  • The Department works closely with the Department
    of Social Development as the Leading Department
    on combatting alcohol and drug Use/Abuse amongst
    Youth. In terms of referrals the Department of
    Health plays an important role.
  • The Department participated with the Department
    of Social Development in terms of the
    commemoration of the International Day against
    Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Eersterust
    on 2 July 2015.
  • Consultation with South Africa Institute for Drug
    Free Sport regarding the prevention and
    management of the use of prohibited substances or
    methods intended to enhance performance in sport
    activities has been completed and will be
    implemented in schools.

24
Regulations for Safety Measures at all Public
Schools
  • The Department is in the process of reviewing and
    amending the Regulations for Safety Measures at
    Public Schools promulgated in terms of Government
    Gazette No. 22754 of 12 October 2001.
  • Mandatory implementation of the National School
    Safety Framework by all schools
  • Specific attention given to
  • Safety risk assessments to be conducted twice a
    year
  • Development of School Safety Plans by all schools
  • Emergency Plan and disaster management procedures
  • Supervision of learners during and after official
    school activities to be implemented by all
    schools
  • Access Control Measures for learners and visitors
    to be implemented
  • Transportation of learners during and after
    school hours on school excursions for academic
    purposes or sport and cultural activities.
  • Pesticides and hazardous substances

25
ROAD SAFETY
  • Road safety is a development and social equity
    issue.
  • Research demonstrates, poorer population groups
    bear a disproportionate burden of avoidable
    morbidity and mortality from road traffic
    injuries. The distribution of road traffic
    injuries is generally influenced by
    socio-economic factors.
  • Fatality rates for 0-4 and 5 -14 year olds in
    low- and middle-income regions, measured as
    deaths per 100 000 population, were six times the
    rates for high-income regions, while within low-
    and middle-income regions the rates vary widely
  • According to the National Household Survey
    (Statistics SA) of 2013, 61.5 pre-school
    learners walk to school and 68.8 of school
    learners walk to school. These stats are
    encouraging due to the fact that these kids keep
    physically fit however the challenge is to keep
    them safe on our roads.
  • Pedestrian safety remains one of the most
    important challenges to authorities in South
    Africa. The history and segregated development
    within South Africa further necessitate that we
    do much more for the protection of pedestrians.
    With a multi-disciplinary approach and
    implementation of global best practices, it is
    however possible to significantly reduce
    pedestrian fatalities and make our roads safer
    for children.

26
Continued
  • DBE in partnership with Road Traffic Management
    Corporation (RTMC) are involved in the following
    programmes
  • Multi Media Programme
  • Junior Traffic Training Centres and
  • Scholar Patrols
  • The objectives of the Partnership Protocol are
  • To create a safe environment for the learners to
    cross the road
  • To ensure safe crossing of learners and
  • To encourage learners to be aware of road safety
    issues or problems

27
Continued
  • PARTNERSHIP WITH ACTIVE EDUCATION (Supported by
    Imperial)
  • By 5 February 2015 established 550 scholar
    patrols at high risk schools.
  • NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY SEMINAR
  • On 30 June a National Road Safety Seminar was
    hosted by the Department with relevant
    stakeholders to solicit support towards the
    implementation of a National Pedestrian Safety
    Campaign.

28
Conclusion
  • Considerable attention has been paid to the
    matter of school violence over the past five
    years.
  • While there is clearly a policy shift towards a
    standardised approach, the degree to which this
    is likely to achieve success is largely
    contingent on the willingness of provinces,
    districts and individual schools to ensure that
    interventions fall within the standardised
    approach and framework, as well as their
    willingness to be held accountable for safety in
    schools.
  • Making a real impact on school violence and
    achieving safe school environments is only likely
    to happen when school safety is integrated as a
    fundamental component of local safety strategies,
    and when the role and commitment of all
    stakeholders beyond the just schools is
    recognised and secured in working towards local
    level community safety strategies.

29
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