The death of a learner at Thuto Tiro Comprehensive School by stabbing in a classroom didn’t come as a shock to most of us. We are not shocked because, over the past few months, our schools have become unsafe for children. They have become war zones for unruly kids and a danger to other children who actually go to school to learn.

We have brought ourselves to this situation. We have done so by not dealing with a lot of social ills that our communities have to endure. We live in a country where it is the norm to see children carrying weapons to school, where teachers themselves are actually scared to go to school because they fear for their own lives because of dangerous learners. We live in a country where drug dealers, who use school children to push their businesses, are ruling our streets because the police are on the payroll of these kingpins. 

We live in an SA where our dream has been deferred by the very same people who should be paving the way for a better future for all. This is a country where honest politicians and public servants are not valued. Corrupt and dubious characters are worshipped and are seen as role models. We can’t therefore be surprised to see learners behaving in this manner. Our children don’t have positive role models.

We need to come together as responsible citizens to bring moral regeneration to this country. We need to help to fix toxic and broken families in our communities. This requires serious leadership that has a vision for a better SA — an SA that is safe for our children to explore their potential without fear of their safety at schools and higher education institutions.

Tom Mhlanga

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