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School-based violence: exploring educator’s perceptions and experiences at the Gem Combined School in Mpumalanga.

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This study focused on school-based violence as it become a global issue. It was designed to understand the experiences and perceptions of teachers at The Gem Combined School in Mpumalanga. The main aim of the study was to understand the perceptions and experiences of educators understanding about school-based violence. It sought to answer the following questions: What are the prevalent forms of school-based violence in school? What is the nature and extent of school-based violence in the school? What are the effects of violence on educators? What are the support structures put in place to assist educators manage school-based violence? The theoretical framework that guided this research study is the ecological systems and Differential Association theory. This qualitative study explored how educators perceived and experienced school-based violence through semi-structured interviews. Semi structured interviews were used to obtain data from the 15 voluntary participants from The Gem Combined school. Purposive sampling as a technique was used for the selection of participants of this study. The participants comprised of teachers at the school, and principal with no restriction of the number of years in practice. The research findings were analysed using thematic content analysis. The findings of the study show that educators are exposed to violent behaviours from learner. Furthermore, results indicated that school-based violence disturbs the teaching and learning. Educators are suffering to manage and deal with delinquent, deviant or related behaviours from learners. There is a lack of supportive structures that are aimed at intervening. There is a greater need for social workers in schools who will provide psychosocial support to learners and inversely assist the educators in addressing school-based violence


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.