The role of the life orientation curriculum in curbing learner behaviour that triggers school violence




Life orientation curriculum, school violence, learner behaviour, qualitative research, systematic review, ubuntu


Violence in South African schools has various negative effects on learners. These effects include loss of concentration, poor academic performance, playing truant, and depression. School violence also affects the psychological well-being of learners, leading to absenteeism and difficulty in paying attention in class. Furthermore, school violence has been linked to substance abuse and sexual violence. The increasing prevalence of violence in South African schools has raised concerns about the safety and security of these educational environments and their impact on the overall development and well-being of learners. The Life Orientation (LO) curriculum plays a crucial role in curbing learner behaviour that triggers school violence through the development of unhealthy social and emotional skills in learners. Preventing and responding to violence in schools can improve educational outcomes and help to achieve educational targets.

This study aims to answer the following question:
How effective is the LO curriculum in reducing school violence?

Ubuntu was adopted as the theory in this study. Ubuntu is a Southern African philosophy that places emphasis on the community rather than the individual. A qualitative systematic literature review through thematic analysis revealed that the Life Orientation curriculum teaches life skills such as communication, managing emotions, and conflict resolution, which are essential for the prevention of violence. Furthermore, by enhancing educational possibilities and offering life skills instruction, the school-based Life Orientation curriculum can contribute to the prevention of school violence. Life Orientation curriculum practice may provide a safe and encouraging environment for learners to express their emotions, learn conflict-resolution techniques, and develop healthy relationships. The study concludes that school violence harms the future of learners, as they may be potential future criminals if their behaviour is not corrected.


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How to Cite

Mphuthi, M. (2024). The role of the life orientation curriculum in curbing learner behaviour that triggers school violence. Perspectives in Education, 42(1), 53–70.



March 2024 Violence in South African schools Special Edition March 2024