Cape schools crack down on violence

The Western Cape Education Department says that principals have the right to delegate who is allowed to...

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The Western Cape Education Department says that principals have the right to delegate who is allowed to search learners for weapons.

The department is introducing metal detectors at a number of high risk and problematic schools across the province.

Metal detectors and CCTV cameras have been introduced in a bid to reduce the number of violent incidents taking place on the province’s playgrounds.

Many of the schools ahve had to deal with punch-ups as well as fights in which kinves are used.

The department’s Paddy Atwell says principals must use their authority to perform searches with metal detectors.

“Principals can search learners and can delegate this authority in line with the protocols on searching and seizure. Schools can apply disciplinary procedures if they find weapons or illegal substances.”

He adds that violence is a serious problem at more than 100 schools.

At the same time, Education Minister Naledi Pandor has told members of Parliament that incompetence was one of the factors which led to the late release of thousands of last year’s matric results.

Pandor was involved in Monday’s parliamentary debate on the president’s state of the nation address.

She says that the team investigating the delays handed her their report last week.

“It indicates some lack of competence, inadequate preparation and poor administrative capacity in some of our examination offices and in some of our schools administration of continuous assessment.”