Child Safety and Protection in Schools is one of the intervention programmes informed by a comprehensive research on the state of children in South Africa.
The recent allegations of racism at Pretoria Girls High School are a chilling reminder of an undesirable society we live in; and it has brought to sharp focus the importance of safety in schools.
The school stands accused of subjecting African learners to discriminatory practices, it is widely reported that girls are forced to straighten their hair and are barred from speaking their mother tongue in school in the name of norms and standards. It has since emerged that similar practices are exercised.
The Fund welcomes the intervention by government through the office of the MEC for Education in Gauteng to investigate the matter thoroughly.
While the investigation is underway, the Fund views this matter as a gross violation of human rights and a serious infringement on the rights of children. The Fund’s latest research indicates a myriad of abuses in schools including bullying, corporal punishment and sexual violence.
Youth Leadership is another intervention programme in the new strategy; it is a platform for young people to lead dialogues through think tanks on issues affecting them like the Pretoria Girls High controversy.
Dialogues within the think tanks will focus on civic participation, human rights (Child focus), entrepreneurship and ethical leadership.
The Fund will continue changing the way society treats its children and youth.