4 Byo schools under probe for bullying, drug abuse

BY DARLINGTON MWASHITA

THE Primary and Secondary Education ministry last week called for a meeting with parents and stakeholders to root out bullying which has gone out of hand at Bulawayo schools.

Ministry officials met with representatives of four local schools, police, city council, parents and learners to discuss ways of curbing bullying and drug abuse among pupils in schools.

Speaking at the meeting acting deputy provincial education director Thabani Sibanda said they had received reports of fights, drug abuse and bullying in schools from parents, guardians, stakeholders.

He said the behaviour of some learners at schools such as Eveline High, Milton High, Gifford High and Townsend High were a cause for concern.

“We have received concerns about the behaviour of our learners at the four schools,” Sibanda said.

“These activities are painting a bad picture of our schools in the province and are going to affect the performance of the learners as some learners will fear going to school due to bullying, while others due to use of drugs their performance will drop and also affect the results.

“…I call for the strengthening of guidance, counselling and learner welfare structures at school.”

Sibanda advised the school heads to engage the department of guidance and counselling to assist in the training and grooming of learners including the parents who play a pivotal role in the growth of children.

He said further steps would be taken to stop the bullying, fights and drug abuse happening in the province.

“As a ministry we will seek services from the police to deploy more officers in the city and other hot spots in town were these activities happen in order to prevent them,” Sibanda said. He said they had equipped the prefects whom the ministry hopes would interact with other students to effect behaviour change.

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