New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Nghipondoka: Safeguarding schools cannot be overemphasised

Nghipondoka: Safeguarding schools cannot be overemphasised

2022-07-06  Paheja Siririka

Nghipondoka: Safeguarding schools cannot be overemphasised

Education minister Anna Nghipondoka said violence in schools directly affects children who experience it and creates insecurity and fear that hinder desired educational performance thus ensuring safe schools cannot be overstressed. 

Alongside executive director Sanet Steenkamp, the duo formed part of the delegation that attended the pre-summit at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris from 28 to 30 June 2022, to co-lead Thematic Action Track 1 with Italy which focuses on inclusive, equitable, healthy and safe schools. 

The cultural originations state that for learners to learn, they need to be healthy and happy, while poor health and wellbeing has a detrimental effect on school attendance, learning and academic performance. 

 “Education transformation will only be successful when learners are part of it as active players, ensuring safe schools where children feel safe, secured and valued, cannot be overemphasised,” said Nghipondoka.

She stated that violence such as bullying and sexual abuse can have negative and lasting effects on the victim, bystander or perpetrator and an overall impact on the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of children. 

“Children who are bullied often exhibit a marked decline in school achievement and reluctance to participate in school activities and to engage socially with peers. Violent school settings have a detrimental impact on mental health and increase the risk of substance abuse and suicide,” Nghipondoka said.

She added that for learners to attain their educational achievements, it is essential that they fully participate in educational activities that are provided in a receptive and safe learning environment.

“Violence and abuse in schools cannot be considered separate from the broader environment in which a school operates because it is a complex, multifaceted problem. Schools are social spaces that reflect power relationships and discriminatory practices in the wider society,” she said.

Nghipondoka stated: “Violence in educational settings often reflects violence in other settings in children’s lives, such as their families and communities. Violence is further embedded in social and cultural norms around authority, hierarchy, gender discrimination and discipline. These same norms determine society’s response to violence (or lack thereof).”

Identifying that education is a human right and a foundation for peace, tolerance, other human rights and sustainable development, the UN Secretary General António Guterres announced in his report to the UN General Assembly on ‘Our Common Agenda’ his intention to convene a Transforming Education Summit (TES) in September 2022. 

The summit is aimed at mobilising action, ambition, solidarity and solutions to transform education between now, 2030 and beyond. 


2022-07-06  Paheja Siririka

Share on social media