Back to School Campaign Phase 1 - Report Back Presentation to MANCO 1 on 17 February 2011
Background of Back to SchoolThe Back to School campaign is an ongoing project on the calendar of events, of the National Rail Crime Combating Forum’s Communication (NRCCF) Sub-committee.The NRCCF Communication Sub-Committee members represent communication teams from: The Railway Safety Regulator Transnet Freight Rail Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa & SAPS Railway Police.Additional stakeholders involved in the campaign include:School principals & School Governing Bodies;Municipal Ward Councillors; Municipal Community Safety Officers;Community Policing Forums; SABC & Community media (print & radio) 2
Objectives To increase awareness about the dangers of rail: trains, infrastructure goods in transit To positively influence the attitudes and behaviour of communities around railway areas Target identified “hot spots’’ for intensive information and developmental initiatives To position the Railway Safety Regulator as a caring and responsible corporate citizen and government entity To inculcate a culture of safety among school children and youth
Number of learners reached = 12 122 7156 in Phase 1 ( 9 February 2011 – 14 February 2011) Provinces covered: Gauteng, North West & Limpopo (township & rural schools near railway lines) School’s name & Province Number of learners at presentation Hleketani Primary School (LP) 86 Albert Luthuli Primary School (LP) 1077 Spa Park Primary School (LP) 1165 Ruabohlale High School (GP) 1132 Mmakau Moemise Primary School (NW) 700 Pfunzo Ndi Tshedza Primary School (GP) 758 Bula Dikgoro Primary School (GP) 1188 Ramahlale Primary School (GP) 1050 Total 7156
Number of learners reached 4966 in Phase 2 ( 17 February 2011 – 22 February 2011) Provinces covered: Gauteng & North West (township & rural schools near railway lines) School’s name & Province Number of learners at presentation Rodney Mokoena Primary School (GP) 1507 Shalom Primary School (GP) 960 Polonia Primary School (NW) 384 Sephola Banatso Middle School (NW) 550 Refitlhile-Pele Primary School (GP) 1565 Total 4966
Rationale for Rail Safety at Schools•Children are among the mostvulnerable to rail related incidentsand fatalities•We also rely on these youngpeople to be the “safetyambassadors in their schools,homes and communities•Educating the youngsters on railsafety encourages whistle-blowing& discourages them fromvandalism, staff-riding & loitering inthe rail reserve. Above: Bela-Bela level crossing, near Albert•The current TFR TV & Radio Luthuli Primary (which was visited duringcampaign featuring a young child the campaign), was the scene of a fatal levelplaying with a ball on the rail line is crossing accident in January, involvingstill fresh in the youngsters’ minds. learners and a teacher. 6
Stakeholder mix & roles No cost implication Railway Safety Providing information (pamphlets) Regulator Promotional items (caps, t-shirts, lanyards) Campaign staff Budget & profiling safety through TV & radio Stakeholder Management units provide links Operators (TFR with community organisations & schools & PRASA) Providing information (pamphlets) Promotional items (diaries, time tables, squeeze bottles, pens, desk calendars) Campaign staff Ward councillors, Councillor & Safety Officers speak to Community learners Safety officers & Adopt-A-Cop programme provides network CPFs. with schools
Key messages Railway Safety begins with me Anytime is train-time: Goods trains operate 24-hours a day. ABCs of Rail Safety: - Always Stop at level Crossings - Be Alert, Be Careful - Call a teacher, Call a Parent Spara-Para Kills! Always keep 15 metres away from a railway line. Don’t throw stones, play sport! Cargo theft & cable theft ain’t cool.Messages are explained to the learners according to age-group & in the languagespoken at the school.
Target Areas Informal and Formal settlements near rail lines Close proximity to the rail network/ infrastructure Areas where Motorists go over rail crossings regularly Farming communities near railway lines - livestock crossing the rail Areas where crime is rife : goods stolen from stationary trains ,cable theft , etc Areas identified as “hot spots” in terms of rail safety e.g. stone throwing incidents , vandalism
Format of each school visit The team & stakeholders visit schools during assembly, break or a time set aside by the Principal (eg a classroom for a smaller group). In a 30 to 40 minute session, each entity explains who they are, what they do & gives safety tips & hotline numbers to the children, in a way they can understand (songs, recitations, games) & in the language spoken at the school. A mini-drama/short skit on level crossings is presented, in which the children are directed to act out a scene.10 children & 1 or 2 facilitators form a train and 5 children cross at a 10 “level crossing.”
Format of each school visit (cntd) Learners are asked questions about rail safety, from the preceding presentation & those who answer correctly receive promotional items Educators & members of the CPFs & SGBs are issued with pamphlets & encouraged to continue educating the children after the campaigners have left. The School Principal, Deputy or an HOD at the school is then given an evaluation/feedback form to complete, rating us as the communicators on the efficacy of the presentation. The forms are certified with the date & school stamp for our records & auditing purposes. 11
Issues highlighted bySchool Principals All school principals indicated the campaign should visit their schools at least twice a year and if possible, 4 times per year (at the start of each term). This is because learners need to hear the messages regularly in order to internalise them. Crimes around the rail environment remain a concern in all schools visited(learners staff-riding, vandalism, stone throwing, muggings of learners near tracks & rail bridges) Campaigners were asked to assist with sourcing sponsors & other support for disabled or at risk children.
Issues highlighted bySchool Principals (cntd) Rua Bohlale Primary’s principal (Soshanguve), alerted us of a railway bridge that is so damaged, that learners prefer to cross the line on foot. Safety Assurance has been alerted. A local construction company is digging out soil a few metres away from the track. This has resulted in a large ditch forming, which periodically fills with water when it rains. A child drowned during the heat-wave in December 2010. Safety Assurance has been alerted. Bula Dikgoro Primary (Mamelodi) requested 2 RSR reflective jackets for the CPF patrollers, who will watch over children at the nearby level crossing & rail bridge. Children from the informal settlement need to cross the bridge to reach their school in the township.
Issues highlighted bySchool Principals (cntd) Ramahlale Primary School’s (Mamelodi) principal suggested promotional items specific to children with our key messages printed on them eg rulers (as the children use them daily) as well as T- shirts & caps with hotlines printed on them. Motorist behaviour ( school taxi drivers). A campaign targeting the drivers was suggested, streamlined with SANTACO’s Hlokomela Campaign.