School violence in Lesotho: the perceptions, experiences and observations of a group of learners

  • C de Wat
Keywords: aggression, gender inequality, learners, Lesotho, school violence


School violence is a subject of great public and media interest that has stimulated a comprehensive body of research. Academic consideration of the subject began in the USA and Scandinavia in the mid-1960s and early 1970s but little evidence could be found of publications on the subject in the small landlocked Kingdom of Lesotho. To address this hiatus in school violence literature, I report on an investigation into a group of Lesotho secondary school learners' perceptions, experiences, and observations of school violence. The research instrument was an adapted version of a violence and trauma questionnaire for adolescents. The first important result from this study was to confirm that verbal and physical abuse amongst learners was prevalent in some schools in Lesotho. Secondly, qualitative and quantitative data revealed that learners often suffered verbal and physical humiliation at the hands of their educators. Thirdly, the data indicated that two major violence risk factors, namely, use of drugs and weapon carrying, were relatively common amongst educators and learners in Lesotho. This study also showed that school violence in Lesotho was a manifestation of gender inequality and violence. Some comments and recommendations are made.

Keywords: aggression; gender inequality; learners; Lesotho; school violence

South African Journal of Education Vol. 27 (4) 2007: pp. 673-690

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100