New school desks ready to be used by learners. File photo: David Ritchie
New school desks ready to be used by learners. File photo: David Ritchie

Back to school: North West school is not ready for the new academic year

By Harvest Thwala Time of article published Jan 6, 2022

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With schools in the inland provinces expected to open on January 12 and coastal provinces to begin their academic year on January 19, the Department of Education said schools were ready to welcome pupils.

However, Tirelong Secondary School in North West province is not ready to welcome learners during the reopening due to uncontrollable vandalism of the school.

The criminals allegedly stole the electricity cables of the school, school roof, doors, water taps and window frames, computers, printers and almost everything at the school.

North West MEC of Education Mmaphefo Matsemela has intervened following the total destruction of the school.

“As the Department of Education, we cannot allow criminals to steal the learner's right to education which has been prescribed by the Constitution of South Africa.”

The Department of Education in the province together with the local mine have renovated the school more than five times and vandalism continued non-stop from the area.

“Tirelong Secondary School has been vandalised many times after it has been renovated by the department and the local mine.

“Every time there’s a new development at the school, criminals destroy those initiatives,” said Matsemela.

She said the district, together with all the stakeholders, would ensure the learners found an alternative place to study while the department was trying to find solutions.

“In our efforts to protect the learner’s right to education.

“I have instructed the district to conduct a consultative process with all stakeholders to find an alternative place for the learners.

“As a department we want communities to be the eyes and ears of government in schools.

“They should report any criminal activity to their nearby police station,” she said.

Matsemela said the department was seeking to involve the Human Rights Commission to work with it to protect the learners’ right to education.

No arrests have been made regarding the vandalism and the SAPS is investigating.

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