OPINION - It is gratifying to note that the Education Department is looking into the death of KwaMakhutha High School pupil Mxolisi Mzulwini, as reported by the Daily News.

This is a story of something initiated with the best of intentions having the most horrible of unintended consequences.

To say that KwaMakhutha High is a troubled school would be an understatement - two pupils were stabbed and killed there just a few months ago, and, earlier in the year, 17 teachers were dismissed for selling drugs to pupils and having relationships with them.

However, the department tried to help matric pupils make up for lost lessons by holding a holiday camp, where pupils were housed and fed.

Mxolisi apparently died of food poisoning and many other pupils became ill after eating food at the camp. His family deserve to know if profit motives compromised food quality, and we will keep a beady eye on the probe.

Another Education Department project having unintended consequences is the ongoing closure of “non-viable” schools - those with insufficient pupils as a result of migration, or parents simply choosing to send their children to better resourced schools elsewhere.

It makes absolute sense to close such schools as in many instances the circumstances mean the children are being done a disservice instead of being dispensed an education. However, as with so much else, there is much lacking in the planning and execution. How do two principals end up at one school, and neither knows who is in charge?

Daily News