HomeNEWSMEC Vhiloane Launches Operation Kgutla Molao School Safety Programme

MEC Vhiloane Launches Operation Kgutla Molao School Safety Programme

MEC Vhiloane Launches Operation Kgutla Molao School Safety Programme

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane launched the “Operation Kgutla Molao” School Safety Programme on Thursday, 20 July 2023, at Qalabotjha Secondary School in Vlakfontein.

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has noted with concern the frequent occurrence of incidents involving stabbing, violence and gangsterism in and around schools in the province. As such, Operation Kgutla Molao has been developed to address some of these issues and ensure that the majority of schools are relatively stable, peaceful and disruption-free.

Even though the reported incidents take place in only a few Gauteng schools, they are no less concerning. Violence, sexual harassment, bullying and the carrying of weapons and illegal substances are acts that are unwelcome at our schools and should be widely condemned even beyond our institutions.

MEC Vhiloane Launches Operation Kgutla Molao School Safety Programme

A stable and peaceful environment is essential to effective learning and teaching. Incidents of violence and other crimes disrupt learning and teaching, leaving victims emotionally or physically hurt, families traumatized, and in some instances, takes lives.

Operation Kgutla Molao will address these incidents by taking the some of the following following actions:

  •  Suspension of learners involved in violence and/or sexual harassment. Learners will face disciplinary action by the school and those who are apprehended by the police will face trial.
  • Disciplinary action against educators and non-education staff alleged to be involved in sexual harassment and/or violence and also face trial.
  • Swift intervention by the MEC and GDE officials to understand the causes of this behavior, as well as the implementation of corrective action.
  • Regular reporting of threats and incidents to law enforcement agencies, especially the South African Police Services.
  • Meeting with community stakeholders on issues of school safety and protests that also disrupt learning and education

Beyond these reactive measures, Operation Kgutla Molao will follow a safe school strategy with the following pillars:

We have a national school safety policy that is standardized. Safety committees are also currently being trained in addition to the implementation of the standardized school safety policy.

Advance psycho-social support and promotion of alternative forms of discipline.

  •  Advocacy programmes against the acts and behaviour are in development and will be conducted in the first quarter of 2023/24.
  • Active law enforcement partnerships with the SAPS, Metro Police, Community Police Forums (CPFs) and community patrollers. Education has a priority committee where all 4 metros, SAPS as well as CFP form part of. The meeting sits once a month to engage on incidents that affect schools.
  •  Effectively securing the physical environment of schools. Safety committees are currently being trained on doing audits of risks at their schools.
  •  Proactive steps emanating from the school safety strategy have also been implemented.
  • Search and seizure operations are done at identified high risk schools. Parolees address leaners at these schools to educate them on the dangers of crime and gangsterism. Our Adopt-a-Cop programme is continuing at schools.

MEC Vhiloane Launches Operation Kgutla Molao School Safety Programme

Accordingly, further actions that are also being implemented or are in the pipeline include:

Deployment of 5 000 patrollers to schools in the townships in collaboration with the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and Community Policing Forum. A new cohort of patrollers will be deployed in to assist with access control and will be provided with E-Panic button.
A holiday school safety pilot programme was implemented in December 2022 and it seems to have reduced burglaries at some identified schools. The programme included regular patrol by professional guards and community awareness campaigns to report incidents to a Call Centre. The Call Centre was linked to the police and emergency services.

The police have played a critical role in quelling incidents of violence, arresting the perpetrators, and conducting raids in schools to search for weapons and illegal substances. For that, the GDE is eternally grateful. However, once the culprit is apprehended, it is the task of the criminal justice system to prosecute and jail those that have been found guilty.

The Department will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates to the people of Gauteng. We call on everyone to play their part. The Gauteng Department of Education will continue to work closely with communities, other government departments such as Gauteng Department of Community Safety and law enforcement agencies through Operation Kgutla Molao.

Parents should also play an active role to ensure discipline and regularly check on their children to determine if they are not involved in illegal activities.

“We have developed Operation Kgutla Molao to safeguard the wellbeing and future of learners from destructive behaviour and social ills. With integrated support from various law enforcement and community safety structures, we will be able to diminish acts of misconduct and pave way to focus on providing effective learning and teaching at schools across the province,” said MEC Chiloane.

For more information, contact the Gauteng Department of Education’s Spokesperson, Steve Mabona on 072 574 3860 or Spokesperson for Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane, Xolani Mkhwemte on 084 513 9285

For media releases, speech and news visit the Gauteng Department of Education’s portal: education.gauteng.gov.za

Israel Wellington Jeremiah
Israel Wellington Jeremiah
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