Prof Stanley Mukhola, DVC Teaching, Learning and Technology with Manbela Chauke, CEO of PSIRA during the launch of the new generation Campus and School Safety and Security Training Initiative.
The training intervention, which is customised for learning and research institutions ushered in a new dispensation and approach towards the training of safety and security personnel mandated to “guard and protect” these institutions in a way that will optimise the experiences of learning communities, from basic education to post-school education.
According to Manabela Chauke, Chief Executive Officer of the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) institutions of learning have, for years, been plagued with incidences of criminality. These include violent crimes that have compromised effective teaching and learning, which often result in high drop-out and failure rate of learners and students. “A high rate of campus and school crimes contributes directly and indirectly to low retention, decreased throughput and completion rates from basic to higher education. The advent of a new generation of safety and security officers who appreciate their mandate towards the creation of safer and crime-free learning communities as a pre-condition to optimal learning and teaching is bound to change this in the long run.”
“Experience has become a crucial factor for employers when deciding who gets their foot in the door. In addition to the training opportunity, the new generation CASSSTI will afford students and graduates an opportunity to complete a period of work experience to ensure they have a competitive advantage over their peers,” Prof Stanley Mukhola, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Teaching, Learning and Technology said in his welcome speech.
He added that campus safety and security have become daily issues for students, parents, faculty and school officials. “The challenge to find innovative approaches towards safety and security on and around campuses is long overdue. It is therefore my pleasure to announce a tripartite partnership among CASSS/CASSTI, TUT and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) for the establishment of an African Research Chair for Campus and School Public Safety, to be hosted by TUT.”
Prof Mukhola added that the establishment of a Chair for Campus and School Public Safety is a first of its kind in the country. “It is expected that this Chair will elevate the University and the country to a global level in terms of the diagnostic approach to establish the underlying issues relating to violence in places of teaching and learning. It would also provide an opportunity to make recommendations in terms of best practices, based on collaboration between industry and academia. The challenge of transforming campus safety and security and enhancing social crime prevention activities and policies to reduce crime, is at the heart of the Chair’s mandate,” said Prof Mukhola.
Training is an important pillar of the CASSSTI Program. A new Campus Safety Cadets Youth Development Programme, saw the first group of students at the Soshanguve campus completing the training at the end of April. The program creates a sustainable career pathway for safety and security management students to practice their career experiences within the realm of campus environment. Welcome Mokobane, a B Tech Policing student, has just become the first TUT student to be appointed as a training instructor at CASSSTI.