#ICYMI: Social decay worries schools

Skeen Primary School principal, Phillemon Mashishi. Photo: Leseho Manala


The crime and drug scourge deepening in Alex will lead to uncontrollable anti-social conduct in our youth and young children if left unchecked by parents.

This concern has been raised numerous times by social activists, schools, NPOs, the police and ordinary citizens worried about the township’s future, which is already reeling from high statistics of murder, rape, housebreaking, business and school robberies, fraud, hijackings, substance and spousal abuse and teen pregnancies.

Read: Skeen Primary School security improves

Some senior citizens, women and girls fear to venture out of their homes choosing to remain indoors, but they’re not safe from relatives who fleece and threaten them over their grants and who abuse them sexually, emotionally and physically.

Schools are left to deal with this challenge as surrogate parents when parents renege on disciplining children at home. They have now roped in the parliamentary constituency office in seeking a solution after a long outstanding request by the Joburg East District’s request for a community security indaba.

This in response to school burglaries, drug and alcohol abuse, gangsterism and teenage pregnancies. Also, backyard abortions are increasing and teachers have to tread carefully when dealing with children said to be carrying dangerous weapons, some of whom are gang members.

Read: Skeen Primary is burgled weekly

The MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi admitted tacitly and recently on the need for improved and conducive environments for learning in many schools.

Skeen Primary School principal, Phillemon Mashishi said the schools reflected their community. “The pupils come from, return to, emulate, defend and bring to school what they see happening at home and in the community,” he said, decrying teen pregnancies even in 13-year-old primary school girls who have no parenting skills.

“Despite all sex education, HIV/Aids awareness and free testing, life and self-awareness skills, children emulate the social ills which are normalised in the home and community, such as teen pregnancies at 16 years old, which should be reported as statutory rape,” he said.

Read: Skeen pupils thrilled with desk donation

Also, Mashishi expressed concern about gangsterism he associated with drugs, other substance abuse, violence, bullying and bunking school.

“Many boys and girls abuse drugs during school hours, sometimes threaten and bully teachers who they are likely to attack when under the influence.” He appealed for intensified police visibility and random searches at schools and urged for drastic change in parents’ attitudes and school governing bodies helping to enforce school policies.

Details: Skeen Primary School 011 264 6753.

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Leseho Manala

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