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HomeNewsPens down parties are dangerous, Department of Basic Education warns

Pens down parties are dangerous, Department of Basic Education warns

Pens down parties are dangerous, Department of Basic Education warns

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Cape Town – The Department of Basic Education has discouraged learners from attending pens down celebrations after the completion of their exams.

Recently, as one of the latest pen’s down tragedies, a Grade 12 pupil drowned last week at Limpopo’s Olifants River as a group of friends partied after completing their exams.

Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said pens down parties were controversial as tragedy often followed them.

Mhlanga said he had observed that coastal areas appeared to be the main areas when it comes to hosting these parties.

“This is another concerning issue that we have seen in the past few years where young people resort to this type of entertainment which is dangerous and we had seen [exam] results being issued with some learners not getting their results because they are already dead.”

Mhlanga, who was unpacking the issue on YouTube, also accused parents of negligence and questioned them on allowing learners to attend parties where they would be drinking and smoking without any supervision.

The reason this issue has been raised, he said is because of the large number of reported incidents since the start of matric exams.

“We are appealing to learners to refrain from this type of behaviour that is going to get them into trouble for all sorts of reasons.

“In 2020, there was a similar case where about 1 200 learners, who had attended these ‘pens down’ parties got infected with Covid-19,” he said.

Mhlanga said that such activities were becoming a trend and advised against them, as families end up having to endure sadness and pain.

“Just a while ago another family from Mpumalanga had to go to KwaZulu-Natal to try and look for their son who had gone to a pens down party without the parent’s consent and I don’t think they were able to locate him even today,” he said.

He said parents have a responsibility to monitor and advise children about the dangers that exist and that some of these dangers are avoidable.

“Entertainment is not going anywhere and there’s a lot that they can still do in their lives, and they should make books their top priority and focus on them so that they can achieve their dreams.

“As for parents, let’s not wait for these tragedies to take place before we start blaming others. We can do this proactively in making sure that we preserve and protect the lives of young people,’’ Mhlanga added.



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