A call to revive sport at schools to restore discipline and end the scourge of crime and violence has been hailed as the best solution. Education stakeholders said sport had largely ceased to exist at public schools due to funding shortages.
A concern shared by education stakeholders was that the lack of sporting activities at schools contributed to ill-discipline and violence, but the institutions lacked sporting resources.
This came in the wake of three pupils who were stabbed to death at Masakhaneni High School in Kwa-Makhutha and another at a school in Inanda last week.
Another pupil was reportedly recovering at home after he was stabbed at KwaMakhutha High School.
Some schools in Durban are set for a sporting revival in an attempt to restore the discipline that existed when sport played a big role in the curriculum.
An initiative launched yesterday by the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) will feature soccer stars including Banyana Banyana players. Union officials said they hoped to unite pupils and communities to fight the scourge of violence and instability at schools.
Sadtu general secretary Nomarashiya Caluza said sport was non-existent at most public schools, which could not afford specialists to coach pupils in the various codes.
She said the question of what contributed to violence at schools had led to a partnership between Sadtu and the sports stars.
Education department spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa welcomed the initiative, but said it was not true that the department had neglected sports.
“We believe that a healthy body promotes a healthy mind. As a result, in March last year, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the department of arts and culture, which shows how serious we are about the promotion of sports at school,” he said.
Caluza said teachers and pupils should be reminded of the value of sports and other extracurricular activity at school. She said attempts to encourage the department to revive sport had always been met by the excuse that there was no funding.
Scelo Isaac Bhengu, president of the Educators’ Union of South Africa, said sport was the strongest source of discipline and was useful for pupils in and out of the classroom.