The Department of Education in the province has voiced concern over the high suicide rate among Gauteng schoolchildren in Ga-Rankuwa, following another tragic loss of a young life.
TimesLIVE reports that the latest incident involved a grade 9 pupil from Kgatoentle Secondary School, who reportedly took his life home on Monday. The department promptly dispatched officials to the school for an investigation, subsequently meeting with the family of the deceased pupil to offer support.
The rising frequency of pupil suicides in Ga-Rankuwa has prompted the department to take urgent action. Steve Mabona, the Gauteng education spokesperson, emphasised the gravity of the situation, revealing that the department has collaborated with Childline to deploy support agents to schools to assist pupils grappling with psychosocial challenges.
In response to the recent tragedy, the department’s psychosocial support unit visited Kgatoentle Secondary School, providing essential counselling and trauma assistance to affected students and staff members. The police have also initiated an investigation into the pupil’s death.
Tragically, this marks the third instance of apparent student suicide in Gauteng within a month. Last week, TimesLIVE reported on the heart-wrenching suicides of two school pupils on the same day.
The first tragedy unfolded at the Soshanguve secure care centre, where a grade 10 student was discovered hanging in a dormitory during lunch break. The Department of Education and the Department of Social Development confirmed the incident through separate statements, with the latter revealing that the 16-year-old had passed away just a month after admission to the centre to serve his sentence.
The second incident involved a grade 9 boy from Kgetsi-Ya-Tsie Secondary School in Temba, who reportedly took his own life at home. These tragedies have underscored the pressing need for comprehensive measures to address schoolchildren’s mental and emotional well-being, urging communities and authorities to work together to prevent further loss of young lives.
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