The role played by schools in shaping the country’s youth is vital as children of this cadre are part of the population vulnerable of falling to deviant behaviour.

The deviant behaviour can be attributed to peer pressure which they are constantly subjected to in the early stage of their development therefore it is crucial that they are protected at all cost. The National Commissioner of Police – Isaac Mmemo Magagula speaking during Ka-Schiele High School speech and prize giving day held last Thursday noted that school going children usually find themselves engaged in criminal activities because of peer pressure and as a Police Service it is necessary to establish partnerships with schools through the creation of viable programmes.

He said these programmes ensure that school children are saved from the clutches of juvenile delinquency as most at this stage find themselves on the wrong side of the law. The National Commissioner said on basis of this reality, the Police Service have already initiated partnerships with a number of schools through the establishment of school anti-crime clubs which serve the purpose of sensitising pupils about the undesirability of anti-social behaviour. Magagula said the Speech and Prize day themed “Nurturing Every Child to Exceed Their Potential” was spot on as children have the potential to succeed in all avenues they wish to pursue, be it academically or entrepreneurially.

Magagula said reality indicates that there is a need for the Police and parents to oversee proper socialisation of children as there are numerous pitfalls that have the capacity of derailing their future. He said many school going pupils find themselves involved in alcohol and substance abuse, joining gangs as well as absconding from school without a justifiable reason. Magagula urged school children to ensure that they avoid the pitfalls that come with peer pressure to ensure that they can secure a bright future for themselves as education is important in achieving a better life. He noted that pupils who are afforded the opportunity to attend school should realise that it is their golden ticket for a bright future as education is the best investment a young person can make.

“With education it is possible to seize the various opportunities that become available in the world out there, be it career-wise or in other avenues such as the domain of business as education is a weapon to conquer the world.”
He advised the Ka-Schiele pupils to concentrate on their books as education is the main cornerstone for a prosperous society, country and economy. He said all they need is proper guidance, mentoring and support from parents, teachers as well as members of the community in general.

Magagula stressed that raising a child is a responsibility of the community according to the culture of Eswatini. He said adults therefore should be conscious of their role in the lives of young people and must avoid using children for their own selfish purposes such as targeting them as clients in drug peddling activities. To the teachers, the National Commissioner pleaded with them to be focal role models to the pupils given the fact that they interact with children on a daily basis. He said they should at all times exhibit behaviour that is worthy of emulation by impressionable children both within and outside the confines of the school environment. He said the Police Service values teachers as partners in the nurturing of children to be law abiding citizens.

He expressed hope that existing cordial relationship between the Police Service and teachers could be maintained at all times and that the organisation cannot be seen to be at loggerheads with them as they both needed to work together on the issues affecting children. Excelling pupils and teachers were given gifts in appreciation of the good work that they have done since the beginning of the year. Eight teachers who produced outstanding results in their respective subjects during the 2017 external examinations in Form 3 and Form 5 were also honoured. The gifts were courtesy of Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) and Slomoes Corporation. A donation of books was also made to the school library through the help of World Vision Eswatini.

Ka-Schiele High School Principal – Nokuthula Mbatha appreciated the gesture from the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS). She said the school had a good working relationship with the organisation especially the Crime Prevention Unit which has helped them establish an Anti-Crime Club to help in sensitising pupils about the effects of crime. She said since the engagement of the REPS, delinquent behaviour among pupils has decreased significantly in the school.