The department said on Wednesday the events where learners, especially Grade 12 learners, celebrate the end of exams or the writing of the last big exam paper for the year, often lead to tragic incidents.
Pens down celebrations can involve using drugs and alcohol, which can lead to incidents such as reckless sexual encounters and other maladies.
In the past, these celebrations have led to the deaths of some learners.
The department’s MEC, Mthandeni Dlungwane, has urged all learners to refrain from such practices.
“It does not make sense for a learner to spend 12 years in the system only to lose his or her life after writing the final paper… Finishing Grade 12 is not the destination, but it should signal the beginning of a brighter future for any learner. We also urge parents to be vigilant and ensure that they monitor their children’s whereabouts during this time,” he said.
He called on Grade 12 learners not to destroy their school uniform but rather donate it to other needy learners who will make good use of it.