The Gauteng Provincial South African Police Service (SAPS) has recently initiated a program known as the Provincial Commissioner’s Initiative aimed at addressing bullying and negative social behaviour within schools across the province.
Under the guidance of Gauteng provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, the initiative’s team visited Phumula Gardens Secondary School on August 11.
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Lt. Gen. Mawela conveyed that the central goal of this initiative is to introduce the game of chess into schools. Despite its numerous benefits, many schools must incorporate chess into their curriculum. He highlighted that chess fosters a sense of calmness and encourages thoughtful decision-making before taking action. The intention is for students to apply these cognitive skills to real-life situations, leading to more considerate behaviour.
Mawela explained, “We introduce such things so learners can resolve conflict without using violence or fighting among themselves. In a conflict situation, you can stop to reflect and think before you act.”
The initiative has set its sights on addressing issues in 13 problematic schools this year with a proactive approach toward creating a positive school environment.
The initiative’s efforts have garnered support from various stakeholders, including Ward 41 Clr Sanele Hlongwane, the Alberton CPF, CPS Security, Boksburg Correctional Services, and Sanlam. In addition to their involvement, these stakeholders have contributed sports equipment, such as soccer and netball kits, balls, and medals, fostering a holistic approach to student engagement.
Lawrence Gabela, the provincial executive of Sanlam, emphasized that parental involvement plays a crucial role in raising well-disciplined children. Gabela’s message to parents underscores the significance of instilling values like honesty and integrity, irrespective of financial circumstances, to pave the way for student success.
Clr Sanele Hlongwane emphasized that the school visits are far from being mere token gestures. He affirmed that the intention is to implement comprehensive programs addressing students’ behaviour within the school setting.
Hlongwane suggested that students’ behaviour could be positively influenced by providing enhanced sports facilities and promoting active engagement and constructive activities.
Addressing the sponsors, English teacher Khethiwe Radebe expressed sincere gratitude for their contributions to the school’s security and infrastructure. Radebe’s sentiment conveyed appreciation for the tangible impact of the sponsors’ generosity on the school environment. He emphasized that their support has not gone unnoticed and has significantly enriched the learning experience for students.
Launching the Provincial Commissioner’s Initiative signifies the Gauteng Provincial SAPS’s dedication to fostering positive change within schools. Through the introduction of chess and the collaborative efforts of stakeholders, this initiative strives to create an environment where thoughtful decision-making and constructive behaviour are nurtured. The engagement of various partners, along with their contributions, echoes a commitment to students’ holistic development and well-being.
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Photo: Supplied by Heidelberg Nigel Heraut