OPINION: Investing in Orange Farm schools’ safety is a necessity

I stay in Orange Farm where crime, drugs and gangsterism are the order the day.

Opinion by Tebogo Rapakgadi

On Friday last week, parents were urgently called to Thetha Secondary School to fetch their children from school after the principal received information that a certain gang was on its way to the school to seek revenge from a rival gang.

On the same day, I passed by Masibambane College located just next to Orange Farm Eyethu Mall. Masibambane is a top private school which was founded by Education Africa in partnership with St John’s College. The school is best known for producing 100% pass rate for matric examinations.

I quickly noticed that the school is currently busy with security upgrades. They have installed a typical Clear-Vu fencing that is known to be anti-cut and anti-climb. The fence is also laced with an electric wire on top that maximizes the level of security. This is in addition to a highly reactive security company that is deployed to protect the school 24/7.

These security upgrades come at a time where Orange Farm is battling the scourge of school violence that is associated with gangsterism and substance abuse.

In May this year, a Grade 10 pupil from Aha Thuto Secondary School was stabbed to death allegedly by a fellow pupil on school grounds.

Months later, in July, a learner from Tharabollo Secondary School was stabbed to death outside the school premises.

These incidents display a clear picture of the state of safety on school premises. We should remind our government that investing in appropriate and safe school infrastructure is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

I don’t think we should live in a society where there are private and public schools.

I grew up telling myself that I will never take my child to a private school but I am a father now and my perception has changed a lot since then.

I now understand the importance of “quality education” and I view it as essential to success rather than a luxury.

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