I am proud of our institutions (schools) for inculcating ethical and moral values among students along with high standards of learning. However, despite recurrent ethical instructions to the students, a few of them intentionally violate the moral code of our institutions. As a local educator, I am concerned about the behavior of our learners. Pupils from Vryheid schools are the ones who fall in the category of repeatedly misbehaving by hosting ‘term end functions’ (usually known as ukugezwa kwamapeni). It’s pens down and then parties at the park near Checkers.
During the gatherings, alcohol is publicly being consumed. Mark Street becomes congested during these illegal gatherings, where our learners abuse alcohol. From my observation, learners as young as Grade 8’s and 9’s take part in these gatherings. Their attitude is an utter disregard to the ethical standards of our institutions.
Over the past couple of terms, this has been going on. I am not sure if these learners understand public indecency: meaning underage drinking, public urination and public disturbance of the peace, are considered criminal activities. These offences can lead to suspects being arrested and being fined at the station or from the court. I would like to advise them politely that their habit will prove quite harmful for their career and future and will affect their academic results at their respective schools.
Another thing I would like to ask is where the parents are. These intoxicated children must go home, or do they go to other places. It is crucial for all parties to take hands to build our youth up to become the best citizens they can be. A strong ethical being should be formed.
To all the stakeholders mentioned above, I am optimistic that their advice and intervention to our learners will bring the required change in their attitude. I have spoken with other members of the community and found similar levels of discomfort with this behaviour. Rape cases, murder cases and human trafficking in our country is very high with some of these cases being caused by the aforementioned behavior.
I ask for immediate action since I am afraid that this situation can easily escalate into serious consequences if we do not do anything.
Thank you for reading this letter.