Burglary and vandalism repairs is estimated to cost Marian RC Secondary School in Elsies River R230 000.
The provincial education department has informed TygerBurger that the school has been vandalise in at least three incidents in recent months. The very recent one being two weeks ago.
Spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said a safety assessment was conducted on Monday 6 May and the school has been granted emergency security. “The cooperation of communities is essential in order to combat vandalism and to create a safe school environment that promotes teaching and learning. We urge community members to be extra vigilant throughout the year and to immediately report any suspicious behaviour or activities that occur within the vicinity of their schools.
“It is simply not possible for an entire school fence to be stolen without somebody seeing something.”
Hammond said there are various consequences of burglary and vandalism. “The first and most obvious is financial. In this financial year, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has allocated R30 million to the emergency maintenance fund, and an additional R112.518 million over 2019 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to school safety initiatives. This will include the installation of a secure perimeter fencing, restricted electronic access, monitored alarm systems, a Safe Schools call centre, a Walking Bus programme, security resilience scorecard, and strategic partnerships between schools and communities.
“While this funding will not necessarily end violence in and around our schools, it will be used to provide and reinforce targeted security infrastructure support to schools,” she said. “In addition to the financial costs, the social and other costs of vandalism include demoralising staff and learners at schools, degrading of the teaching and learning environment and facilities, stress and increased safety concerns. It also takes officials and teachers off task as school governors, principals, teachers and officials have to spend time and effort dealing with the paperwork and the oversight involved during the repair process.
Hammond added that every hour spent dealing with vandalism represents time taken away from supporting learners in working through the curriculum.
The department has urged communities to assist in the fight by:
. reporting vandalism and any suspicious activity around the school to the Safe Schools call centre, toll-free number 0800 45 46 47 or to the police;
. working with their school, youth or religious groups within the community to adopt a school in their area;
. teaching their children to be proud of their school and about the effects and consequences of vandalism at their school.
Provincial police spokesperson Siyabulela Malo said an investigation is underway. “A theft and house breaking docket has been opened for investigation. According to reports Marian High School in Elsies River was vandalised and goods such as copper pipes, estimated to be worth R15 000, were stolen.”
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