A grade 11 schoolboy from Eldorado Park Secondary School has become the 22nd pupil to die in the province so far this year, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi revealed on Friday.
“It is alleged that the boy drank poison on Tuesday and was admitted to a local hospital. Unfortunately, he died on Thursday after the medical team advised the family that the life- support machine that was keeping the boy alive was to be switched off,” said Lesufi.
“Sadly, we were informed by the family that this was actually a second (suicide) attempt after he survived the first one last year.”
Lesufi offered condolences to the family and the school community.
In recent days, the education department has reported the deaths of a 13-year-old pupil from Springs Boys’ High School who committed suicide at home, a grade 8 pupil who died after being struck by lightning and a grade 10 pupil who was stabbed to death.
“Since the beginning of the academic year 2020, unfortunately, this is the 22nd learner death to be announced,” Lesufi said on Friday.
The department’s psychosocial team will on Monday visit all affected schools to offer support and counseling.