EC schools benefit from the Child Protection Week

dojcdThe Eastern Cape Regional Office, together with three magistrate courts, embarked on information sessions as part of celebrating Child Protection Week (CPW) in 14 primary and high schools in the province.

Celebrated under the theme; “Let Us All Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward,” CPW saw Port Elizabeth, Sterkstroom and Tarkastad Magistrate Courts engaging about 1160 learners on various issues affecting them including, cyber bulling and sexting, drugs and substance abuse. These events took place from 30 May – 3 June 2016.

Child Protection Week is celebrated in South Africa annually, to commemorate the rights and responsibility of children in society. The term “Child protection” may be defined as” Doing everything possible to minimize the risk of harm to children and young people”. The Eastern Cape Regional Office took upon itself to educate communities in most remote and rural areas as part creating awareness on dangers affecting the young and vulnerable in the province.

The following schools were visited: Vulumzi High, Motherwell High, Cingani High and Vezubuhle Primary, Masakhe Primary, Sterkstroom Primary and Siyaphakama High, Nkosiyakhe Primary, Tarka Primary and Raymond Mhlaba Senior Secondary Schools.

The schools benefited from the information sessions where officials engaged with learners on the following topics; Sexual Offences Act, drug and substance abuse, cyber bullying and sexting and children’s rights and responsibilities. Approximately 1160 learners reached in all the areas.

In all the schools visited Miss Emily Nkinana, a Senior Legal Admin Officer encouraged learners to speak out about anything that a family and or community member tries to do to that may harm them. “If anyone tries to touch your body, you must say ‘NO’ and report same to older person, the person that you trust and or to the police,” she said.

Ms Nkinana further encouraged learners to inform their parents in case they have been rape victims, saying that a rape victim is advised not to wash until she or he goes to the police to report the case. Mr Mbewu, a Legal Admin Officer made a presentation on Children’s rights and responsibility. He further informed the learners and teachers about other services rendered by our courts.

All learners, principals and teachers who attended the sessions expressed gratitude for the information sessions and requested for similar interactive sessions in future.

By Emily Nkinana and Thando Mbewu

Published: 10 June 2016