Violence in South African Schools: What Is External and what is Internal to Schools?

Vusi Mncube, Clive Harber


This article reports on a qualitative study that used interviews, participant observations and documents. A questionnaire was also employed. The study, which was conducted in six provinces of South Africa, explored the perceptions and experiences of school stakeholders of school violence, the nature of violence that takes place in South African schools and measures and initiatives taken by schools to promote a violence-free environment. Even though not all schools are violent, the findings suggest that violence is a serious problem in South African schools,. Some teachers are verbally, physically and psychologically violent towards learners, and frequently resort to using corporal punishment, which is illegal. The question is asked whether increased control, surveillance and punishment of learners (and staff) or better managed and organised schools is the best way to help to reduce violence. If an emphasis on the latter is to be the way forward, then this has significant implications for the recruitment, training and leadership performance of principals and for their ability to ensure more effective schools through better teacher punctuality and attendance.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n3p324

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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