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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

MASITSA, M G. Exploring safety in township secondary schools in the Free State province. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2011, vol.31, n.2, pp. 163-174. ISSN 0256-0100.

Research overwhelmingly suggests that effective teaching and learning can occur only in a safe and secure school environment. However, despite the plethora of laws and acts protecting teachers and learners in South African schools, scores of them are still unsafe. This study examines the safety of teachers and learners in township secondary schools in the Free State province, South Africa. The sample of study consisted of 396 teachers who were randomly selected from 44 township secondary schools across the province. The sample completed a questionnaire based on the safety of teachers and learners in their schools. Prior to completion, the questionnaire was tested for reliability using the Cronbach alpha coefficient and it was found to have a reliability score of .885, indicating an acceptable reliability coefficient. The questionnaire was computer analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Primer Version 12. The results of the analysis revealed that both teachers and learners are not safe in their schools, either during or after school hours. The causes of a lack of safety in these schools reside within and without the schools, implying that learners are sometimes the culprits. The study concludes with recommendations on addressing the problem.

Keywords : crime; exploration; school safety; teachers' and learners' rights; township secondary schools; violence.

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