DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education (DoE) says it has dispatched a delegation of senior authorities to assess the extent of damage to schools due to the weekend’s heavy rains.
The department is already dealing with 630 schools that have experienced some form of damage due to the floods in April.
The department said that the inspection team would be led by the head of department, Nkosinathi Ngcobo.
“This comes barely a month after the previous devastating floods struck KwaZulu-Natal, and left more than 500 schools badly affected in April.
“The DoE is working around the clock to ensure all schools return to normality after the floods devastated parts of the province and deprived schools access to basic education.”
Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said in his Education Budget Policy Statement speech on May 6 that the devastating floods in the province left a trail of destruction, with 630 schools reporting different degrees of damage.
“On the other hand, criminals continue to destroy our schools, as happened recently in uMkhanyakude District, where a school, Mtwazi Combined in Mkhuze, was set alight. All these unfortunate incidents happen against the backdrop of a shrinking infrastructure budget.”
Mshengu said that with respect to the restoration and rehabilitation of all the school infrastructure recently damaged by the floods, it had adopted a three-pronged approach where the first option will be implemented by schools or school governing bodies using funds from Norms and Standards.
“The second approach is where restoration and rehabilitation will be implemented through the districts and the last one will be implemented through implementing agents.”
Nomarashiya Caluza, South African Democratic Teachers’ Union provincial secretary, said the union was concerned with the damages to the infrastructure which included blocked access roads to schools.
“It’s a disturbing trend which results in disturbance to teaching and learning. Old school buildings remain the most affected.”
Thirona Moodley, provincial chief executive of the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa, said they wanted the Department of Basic Education and the provincial education department to do a thorough assessment of the impact on schools in the province.