How do we build school institutional cultures that are healthy for boys?

There have been some public calls for orientation camps to be banned following the death of 13-year-old Parktown Boys High School pupil Enoch Mpianzi.

Mpianzi drowned at an orientation camp organised by the school, in the North West last week.

The incident has raised questions around the purpose of some camp activities and how they assist in instilling positive behaviours.

Eusebius speaks to child psychologist Dr Shaheda Omar and The Character Company founder Jaco van Schalkwyk on how to create better or healthier tools that help build school cultures and institutions that are not toxic.

It is about them learning about communication, empathy and sensitivity to others but all of that has to occur in a warm, nurturing, caring and supporting environment.

Dr Shaheda Omar, Clinical director - The Teddy Bear Foundation

My concern is I am not quite sure how these things work; there needs to be a proper and rigorous briefing on roles, responsibilities, expectations and a detailed outline of what is actually going to happen, even crisis situations - should they emerge, how is this process going to be managed.

Dr Shaheda Omar, Clinical director - The Teddy Bear Foundation

Van Schalkwyk says there need to be teachings beyond an exercise like building a raft.

Are we teaching the boys after that experience or are there other opportunities even in the camp or ongoing after that where we are talking about vulnerability, talking about my experiences and being able to admit 'I didn't like that', that I loved the swim but the raft building was not for me and not being victimised?

Jaco van Schalkwyk, Founder - The Character Company

We have to provide safe and secure spaces for boys to have the opportunity to speak up, the holistic approach - how to be vulnerable.

Jaco van Schalkwyk, Founder - The Character Company

We have to become a more involved society in this.

Jaco van Schalkwyk, Founder - The Character Company

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