Sport used to address social ills in public schools

The issue of violence in public schools has not gone unnoticed. Last Saturday the provincial Department of Safety and Liaison, together with the Alexandria Police Station, and the Community Policing Forum convened a sports programme themed, “Safer School Sport Festival” which took place at Alexandria High School.

MAKING SURE OF SAFETY: Department of Safety and Liaison members gathered for a photograph at the Alexandria Sports Day on Saturday. From left are Yolanda Dow, Melissa Grootboom, Marcia Vutula, Luthando Dastile and Anda Ntshona Picture: ROB KNOWLES

Knowing full-well that school violence might be a reflection of society, the above mentioned stakeholders invited the whole community at large.

Explaining the reasons behind the event Luthando Dastile said, “We saw the level of violence and criminality within our schools where pupils are fighting among each other. You also find that they are also fighting teachers which results in the schooling environment not being conducive for learning.”

Dastile further indicated that the event was beyond sport. “We decided to put our heads together to come up with sporting activity which seeks to address these socials ills that are happening in our schools,” he said.

Being aware of what lies ahead of them if they are to eradicate violence, Dastile said they were aware that a one-day tournament could not solve all the problems faced by schools.

“There will be series of events that will be taking place within Ndlambe area and farm schools,” he said.

“Quarterly, there will be a sporting event, or a dialogue, or a sexual crime prevention campaign.”

Dastile further said that the aim of the event was to build relations between police stations and the surrounding schools.

“According to the protocol each station has a responsibility to attach a nearby school to it so that there will be monitoring programmes that are taking place in that school. We are kind of honouring that protocol while strengthening the relationship between pupils and police.”

Encouraging inclusive responsibility, Dastile said they invited parents, prominent public leaders, the ward councillor and the community at large because they need their buy-in. They included the likes of Lt Col Nosipho Cyntheria Nodwala, Warrant Officer Phakamile Ngxongo, Junior Commissioner Sinesipho Mpambani, Provincial Youth Crime Prevention desk chairperson Lunga Minyayo and councillor Thembekile Mbunge.

At the end of the day Ukhanyo won the soccer tournament and Zuney Park won the netball.

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