Education ministry launches safe school framework

The education ministry has started the National Safe School Framework (NSSF) aimed to strengthen the provision of healthy; supportive and conducive teaching and learning in light of the alarming level of violence in Namibian schools.

The government expects authorities charged with managing schools to take all available measures to ensure the safety of learners to support them and to set out explicit policies and programs to fulfil this critical responsibility, minister of education Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said.

“Schools should be the safest places in the community for children and young people. The purpose of this gathering is to develop an NSSF that identifies strategies that can inform practices which enhance school safety and learners’ physical, social and emotional well-being. As part of the comprehensive approach to school safety, the framework aims to provide guidance in ensuring that schools, educational facilities and their surroundings are child-friendly, physically safe and protected from outside influences,” she said.

She added that learners and the entire school community need to feel secure from harassment; aggression; violence and bullying.

Hanse-Himarwa also said the purpose of the NSSF is also to incorporate existing laws and good practices and to provide an agreed national approach to help schools and their communities address issues of unsafe conditions and practices including bullying; harassment; violence and child abuse.

“Schools that are affected by a violent culture often have low levels of trust between learners and educators, a low commitment by learners and teachers, lack of parental and community involvement and inappropriate forms of discipline,” she said.