Bits 'n bytes

June 2006 News, Residential Estate (Industry)

Access control, as we have covered extensively in Hi-Tech Security Solutions and particularly in the annual Access Control Handbook, is becoming an increasingly more important part of our daily lives. We have come to accept it when we enter premises - mostly for business purposes - but if we take a look at what is happening at schools we realise just how vulnerable our children are in places where we leave them to be educated.

On 17 May a 15-year-old schoolgirl was shot in the leg when a gun went off accidentally while a schoolboy was playing with it in a classroom of a Durban school (read a report of the incident at http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=15&art_id =vn20060518013649546C101421">).

And this just two days after safety measures in public and independent schools were discussed by provincial heads of Education Departments in Pretoria ( http://www.info.gov. za/speeches/2006/06051609151001.htm)

The Director-General of the Department of Education, Duncan Hindle, and the nine provincial heads of education met on 15 May to discuss school safety measures at public and independent schools.

The Heads of Education Departments Committee (HEDCOM) approved additional amendments of safety measures in schools. The amendments will be forwarded to the provincial MECs and the minister of education, Ms Naledi Pandor, MP, this month for approval.

The Regulations for School Safety Measures under the South African Schools Act were first passed in October 2001 and those for independent schools in August 2004. These Regulations must be seen as support to the applicable laws of the country.

The existing Regulations state that all schools have been declared 'drug free and dangerous object free zones'.

Call me ignorant, but I have to question what is being done to enforce these regulations and who, in fact, is actually doing it. More about that in next month's issue...

This month our feature looks at an issue that affects each and every one of us - security in the residential sector. Check out ('Connected homes: create convenience, security and cost savings') to see what is new, what the trends are and what can be done to make your home a safer place.

I hope to see all of you at Securex!

Lynne



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