More learners are expected to return to class in KwaZulu-Natal as the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is in the process of procuring 98 classrooms as an interim measure to ensure that schools in the province are able to operate again.
KZN schools were severely affected by the recent floods with a total of 630 being badly affected. According to the department, 124 schools suffered serious damage and 72 remain inaccessible.
At least 57 pupils died and five are missing. One teacher and a food handler also died in the floods.
National Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said that they were working with the Department of Social Development to provide therapy to affected teachers and learners.
"Working with our sister Department of Social Development, we are already providing professional therapy to affected learners and educators as part of government intervention. The disasters, especially floods, have a huge impact in all spheres of life, including psychological, social and educational, and its effects may persist for life if not intervened properly."
He added the provision of scholar transport was also affected at 34 schools.
“A total of 39 buses and 18 minibus taxis have not been able to operate due to, amongst other things, muddy roads, badly damaged roads and collapsed bridges. Many vehicles are expected to return to operation as soon as the ground hardens. Some vehicles are already using alternative routes to reach schools."
According to Mhlanga all schools will have comprehensive catch-up classes.
“Affected learners will receive support to catch up on lost learning. Teachers will be supported to address learning losses among their learners and to integrate digital technology into their teaching.
“The provision of Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) to all affected schools has been prioritised. We have identified 268 learners in need of LTSM as they lost these during the recent floods,” he said.
Mhlanga thanked all the volunteers, NGOs, private sector, community members, donors, other government departments and agencies at national, provincial and local spheres for their continued support and assistance