Education foundation urges govt to do more to help distressed learners

An education activist said the suicide rate among schoolgoers was alarming. Two learners from a Paarl high school allegedly committed suicide within 48 hours of each other.

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CAPE TOWN - The Education for Social Justice Foundation said that government should do more to help learners and students in distress.

An education activist said that the suicide rate among schoolgoers was alarming. Exam periods are especially difficult for many pupils.

Two learners from a Paarl high school allegedly committed suicide within 48 hours of each other.

The two 17-year-old, girls who attended La Rochelle High School in Paarl, Jade Gouws and Zara Malherbe ended their lives last week.

Stellenbosch University also bid farewell to a post-grad Engineering student earlier this month.

Education activist Hendrick Makaneta said that the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many people tragically ending their lives.

Makaneta said that government needed to take action: “Government should find a way to deploy at least social workers in the terrain of education so that they are able to identify learners who show signs of anxiety. Learners who are suicidal.”

The foundation's also urged communities to be aware of learners who might need special care at this time.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group offers counselling for anyone who may urgently need them. To contact a counsellor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday, call: 011 234 4837 / Fax number: 011 234 8182. For a suicidal Emergency contact us on 0800 567 567. The 24hr Helpline is: 0800 456 789

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