South African schools to tackle rape
26 February 2013
The Department of Basic Education, in partnership with Lead SA, has announced a
major initiative to raise awareness and educate South Africa's 10.2-million learners
about the scourge of rape.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has issued a directive to all provincial
education departments to instruct schools across the country to call special
assemblies at 8am on 1 March, where learners will be addressed about rape and
"Following the singing of the National Anthem, we want principals, educators, learners
or activists to address the assemblies for 15 minutes about rape and sexual crimes.
The focus will be on education/awareness and more importantly what to do,"
She added that the department would provide guidelines for the talks, adding that
NGOs were encouraged to assist with the morning's talks.
Rape Response booklet and pledge
A Rape Response
booklet and pledge, based on the Bill of Responsibilities which includes a statement on
violence and rape, will also be circulated. The booklet and a poster, which will help to
guide educators on how to cope with this sensitive topic, can be downloaded from www.education.gov.za
Motshekga urged educators and learners to adopt the pledge, which will be available
in all 11 official languages, at the assemblies.
The department has also called on all schools to prepare worksheets for learners
about violent and sexual crimes. "We want boy and girl learners to complete these
worksheets at home, with their families if possible, and return them to their
teachers," said the minister.
March is South Africa's Human Rights Month, and Motshekga stressed the need to
teach youngster about their rights and responsibilities as outlined in the Bill of
'Take the message
She encouraged ordinary South Africans to adopt the pledge as well, after it has been
taken by millions of learners on 1 March. "Take it to your offices, factories and homes
... we call on civil society to support the StopRape initiative."
She further appealed to learners to report any form of abuse from anyone to the
Lead SA said it hoped the 10.2-million learners would "take the messages home so
that society at large can act. The 'StopRape' message needs to reach every corner of
South Africa. Let's all unite and fight rape with one voice."
Proudly South African and Shout SA have already come out in support of the
Proudly South African said it would include the messaging in its national "Ubuntu
schools" campaign, which was launched shortly after the gang rape of a Soweto
teenager in April last year.