Concern as school violence continues

The Western Cape Education Department says 42 children have been stabbed at schools this year.

Violence in schools is becoming an increasing problem in the Western Cape. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department said on Thursday, school violence remains a serious problem.

42 pupils have been stabbed at schools accross the province since the beginning of this year.

Two stabbings, one which was fatal, happened at Mossel Bay and Mitchells Plain schools this week alone.

Education Spokesperson Bronagh Casey said, "One stabbing has been fatal, 27 have been serious and 14 were not so serious. In comparison to last year, the figures are similar. During the same period last year we had 41 incidents."

Meanwhile, an educational psychologist believes children living in gang-ridden communities, battle to cope at school because of severe stress and trauma.

Anel Annadale said these pupils find it difficult to concentrate in class and while studying at home.

Eyewitness News has reported on the difficulties facing some Hanover Park matriculants, who said hearing gun shots is a common occurrence in their neighbourhood.

The area has seen a surge in gang violence in recent months.

Annadale said the effects gangsterism has on pupils are severe.

"It can impact very negatively on their immune systems and it can lead to a lot of time off from school.

"If we look at the mental effects of long-term stress, one of the things we're very aware of is memory as well as concentration. It will definitely impact their marks negatively, so it's very likely that they won't be performing to their full potential."