On SA's Township school rape and education numbers.
This Article is Written in Protest to Increase Awareness on the plight facing South African children in schools, especially in the township.
The headlines read
Benoni - String of sexual assualts reported from school.
Soweto - 87 learners sexually assaulted by 54yr old staff member.
Tzaneen - 14 Year old raped by school teacher.
Kimberly - Teachers implicated in 30 pregnancies at school...".
And these stories are only a handful of the hundreds of true stories just like them circulating South Africa's townships.
I have this opinion; We fail our children because we fail our Women. The role of Women is always in plain view in the township; seen going house to house in church uniform throughout the week, visiting churches, considering widows, widowers and orphans. Township economies are also largely contributed to by Women, who run corner stores, sew curtains and often run the tea and coffee section after church. Women, would continue to protect the children as an utmost prioritybut women themselves are unsafe in the township. And Men, often allow other Men, to get away with terrible behaviour. Our unsafest communities according to SAPS are the townships, I also believe that we can only weigh our functionality as a community based on how we protect and empower the most vulnerable. For many reasons, some out of our control, we are not doing well.
We are struggling with turning around the legacies of our townships. A majority of South Africa's key townships were created for the purpose of control and exclusion. It is our responsibility, as a community to use what was created to break us, for the purpose of building ourselves back up. If we are to continue to give up the responsibility of rebuilding our communities to the government, we will never be able to reclaim our economy and it will forever remain in the hands of a select politically connected few.
The 2015 General Household Survey revealed to us all that the Classroom is the primary site for school violence with 54% of Sexual Assault, 13.2% on the play ground and 12.5% of Sexual Assault taking place in school toilets.
The numbers are terrible.
South Africa's educational system was ranked 75th out of 76 in a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2015 which assessed 580 000 learners across the world.
Our Educational system is in as much need of reform as our Township economy systems and safety systems are. Education, Economy and Safety. These are our priorities as a nation, I say the responsibility to create change is with the people. Over 20 Years of waiting for Government to sweep up our streets is a long enough wait.
We need to ask ourselves what it is about our communities that makes criminals safer than children in them. We need to ask ourselves what role we play in allowing this to continue to not only be our reality, but a reality we can easily brush off our shoulders, as if we do not know that the children come first.
Can we create the change?