Like learner performance, parental involvement and educator well-being, school safety is an ever-present dynamic at many of our schools, so much so, that there are days when little or no schooling can take place because of the safety threat to learners and educators. The recent events in Manenberg underscore the plight of schools servicing poor communities. In 2012, It was Lavender Hill and Hanover Park that bore the brunt of community-based violence. Given the issue and its impact, I expected a full house to attend the event. Some 274 indications of attendance were received; 74 attendees arrived. Whilst I'm sure there are plausible reasons why so many did not arrive, the small audience nonetheless fueled lively discussion and input on the topic-under-discussion - the issue is a monumental one and solutions are complex. Over the next five posts, I will share a synopsis of some of the issues raised in the book and hopefully keep school safety at the forefront of our engagements in our sector.
According to the authors, the book seeks to add to the knowledge base required for the ongoing development and consolidation of research and prevention efforts directed at child injury in South Africa. Its overall objectives are:
- to describe the extent and consequences of priority child injury problems,
- identify significant downstream and upstream risk and, where available, protective factors,
- highlight the proven and promising injury prevention contributions that may result from environmental, social and technological strategies and interventions, and
- propose prevention priorities and consequent research and policy imperatives.