South African authorities have said that armed security guards will be deployed at 75 schools in Gauteng where criminality and drugs are rife.
This intervention was announced by education MEC Matome Chiloane, who met principals and school governing body members from the schools on Tuesday.
There are 245 schools in the province identified as high-risk, of which 75 are prioritised for urgent remedial actions. The criteria used include criminal acts against pupils, teachers, school management, school infrastructure and movable assets, drug and substance abuse both inside and outside school premises, undesirable behaviour such as bullying, racism, sexual harassment, and more acts of misconduct.
Hand-held metal detectors to identify dangerous weapons will be given to the schools.
CCTV cameras linked to a provincial command centre will be installed and e-panic buttons for 3,000 staff members will be activated soon in conjunction with the Gauteng Department of Community Safety. Chiloane said other inventions include training people to sit on safety committees, deployment of 500 pupil support agents to rotate among the schools, and patrols by safety wardens, colloquially known as the AmaPanyaza.