Focusing on early childhood could help curb school violence in SA, says NPO

Crime prevention NPO Nicro says South Africa's child protection system needs to focus more on the early years of a child's development in order to help prevent teen violence in schools.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has expressed concern over the high levels of violence reported on school grounds.

Read: 'Violence in schools is a national crisis not just an educational crisis'

This comes after the latest incident, where a 16-year-old boy was found stabbed to death just outside the premises of Mondeor High School, south of Johannesburg.

Nicro, an organisation that focuses on social crime prevention and offender reintegration, says that youth on youth violence is a systemic and structural issue.

Read also: Could mediation be a better route than court in the Sans Souci assault case?

Nicro's Arina Smit says young children need to be equipped with the right conflict management tools as early as possible.

Smit says the government, organisations and society at large need to create a more effective early warning system to help at-risk youth deal with their behavioural issues.

A lot of children that show aggression at school are children that have been missed or ignored early in life.

Arina Smit, Social worker and training manager - Nicro

According to Smit, children with violent streaks begin to show early onset behaviours before the age of 9.

Listen to the discussion on The John Maytham Show:


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