Operation Kgutla Molao launched to stabilise Gauteng schools

Gauteng education MEC Matome Chiloane has launched the “Operation Kgutla Molao” school safety programme.

The department said it has noted with concern the frequent occurrence of incidents involving stabbing, violence and gangsterism in and around schools in Gauteng.

The operation, launched on Thursday at Qalabotjha Secondary School in Vlakfontein, will address some of these issues and ensure peace and stability at schools.


“Even though the reported incidents take place in only a few Gauteng schools, they are no less concerning,” said the department.

“Violence, sexual harassment, bullying and the carrying of weapons and illegal substances are acts that are unwelcome at our schools, and should be condemned.”

A stable and peaceful environment is essential to effective learning and teaching.

Incidents of violence and other crimes disrupt learning and teaching, leaving victims emotionally or physically hurt, families traumatised, and in some instances, taking lives.

The operation will address these incidents by operationalising the following measures:

• Suspension of learners involved in violence and/or sexual harassment. Learners will face disciplinary action and those apprehended by the police will face trial.


• Disciplinary action against educators and non-education staff alleged to be involved in sexual harassment and/or violence and also face trial.

• Swift intervention by the MEC and officials from the department to understand the causes of this behaviour, as well as the implementation of corrective action.

• Regular reporting of threats and incidents to law-enforcement agencies, especially the police.

Beyond these reactive measures, Operation Kgutla Molao will follow a safe school strategy with the following pillars:

• We have a national school safety policy that is standardised. Safety committees are also being trained in addition to the implementation of standardised school safety policy.

• Advocacy programmes against these acts and behaviour are in development and will be conducted in the first quarter of 2023/24.

• Active law-enforcement partnerships with the SA Police Service, metro police, community policing forums (CPFs) and community patrollers. Education has a priority committee where all four metros, SAPS and CFP form part of. The meeting sits once a month to engage in incidents that affect schools.

• Effectively securing the physical environment of schools. Safety committees are currently being trained to do audits of risks in their schools.

• Proactive steps emanating from the school safety strategy have also been implemented. Search and seizure operations are done at identified high-risk schools. Parolees address learners at these schools to educate them on the dangers of crime and gangsterism. Our Adopt-a-Cop programme is continuing at schools.

Further actions that are also being implemented or are in the pipeline include:

• Deployment of 5 000 patrollers to schools in the townships in collaboration with the Gauteng department of community safety and community policing forum. A new cohort of patrollers will be deployed to assist with access control and will be provided with an E-Panic button.

The department said it is grateful for the role played by police in quelling incidents of violence, arresting the perpetrators, and conducting raids in schools.

It also said it will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates to the people of Gauteng.

Chiloane called on the people of Gauteng to play their part. 

“Parents should also play an active role in ensuring discipline and regularly checking on their children to determine if they are not involved in illegal activities, he said.

“We have developed this operation to safeguard the wellbeing and future of learners from destructive behaviour and social ills.

“With integrated support from various law enforcement and community safety structures, we will be able to diminish acts of misconduct.”

 

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