The way in which schools choose strategies in dealing with safety of learners in schools
Several incidents related to the safety and security of learners in schools has become a major issue of concern. This has become much so especially after several tragedies that resulted in the death of learners were reported in different national newspapers. This happens even after different strategies and interventions have been developed in trying to deal with the safety of learners in schools in South Africa. The purpose of this article is therefore to report on a study that was conducted focusing on the strategies that schools use in responding to issues related to the safety and security of learners. A qualitative approach where seven schools were selected as sites was adopted for use in the study. Three methods of data generation were used. Methods used are Observation, Interviewing and Documents. Data were analysed by developing themes. The findings of the study revealed that the manner in which schools respond to issues of safety and security of learners differs from one school to the other. Some of the schools have policies on safety and security of learners whereas others do not have. Further, there is more focus almost exclusively on the physical aspect of security like fences, gates, burglar proofing and signage which indicates items forbidden on school premises. The article argues that the focus on the physical aspect of security is as a result of trying to comply with the directive from the Department of Education than focusing on the local school security threats and needs. That result in strategies on safety and security in schools not responding to the local needs and threats that schools are facing. Hence the continuing violence in schools.
Keywords: Schools, Choose, Strategies, Dealing, Safety and Security