THOHOYANDOU: Limpopo Education MEC Polly Boshielo has expressed concern regarding the increased cases of bullying reported, which involve learners.
This comes after a trending video of a Grade 10 learner who was bullied by her peers at Mbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo.
“In the video, other learners can be heard in the background cheering the perpetrator, who is also a grade 10 female learner,” said the department.
The bullied learner (15) reportedly took her life after the incident, this happened on the 12th of April 20121, in the afternoon.
The department said it was still awaiting for a formal report of the main cause from the relevant authorities. In the meantime it was disturbed by another recording of a physical altercation involving Grade 12 female learners from Nthuba High School.
The department requested details from the school principal and disciplinary processes will be undertaken in due course.
“It is quite disturbing to witness this level of violence behaviour among young people. We strongly condemn such conduct that has turned our school into horrendous havens of those who have no regards for their peers.
“Bullying is wrong and will never be tolerated in our schools,” said the MEC.
The MEC and department sent their condolences to family and friends of the deceased learner and dedicated to making sure that all those involved face the consequences of their actions.
“It is important that we also capacitate our schools to strengthen enforcement of their code of conduct, especially on such incidents. Education is a societal matter, therefore putting the responsibility on all of us to ensure a safe learning and teaching environment,” added the MEC.
There are Learner Support Agent who are based in the 10 education districts in the province to give emotional support to vulnerable learners.
The statement reveals that this is done, according to the department, in conjunction with programmes given by the schools’ safety, Learner Psychological Services and Lifeskills Units.
Processes are underway to intensify their interventions in high burden areas, based on reports received from circuit office.
The family of a learner who committed suicide will be dealing with the social workers who were dispatched by the provincial Social Department.
Nkakareng Rakgoale MEC of Social Development also condemned the incidents. She also said bullying is a social ill that needs to be confronted head-on.
“We are very disappointed to learn that there was this bullying incident that ended in tragedy. We want to see these young boys and girls supporting each other at school because they are there to learn,” said MEC Rakgoale.
MEC Rakgoale urged the community members not to share violent video material on social media and further expose minors to violence and exploitation.
“It is advisable to rather report such incidents to the school, police or social workers for a speedy intervention,” added MEC Rakgoale.