Martha Bartlett, MEC of Education, visited the Sutherland High School on 16 October to monitor the progress the department has made since a fire erupted at the school on 26 September. Altogether 119 learners from Gr. 8 to Gr. 11 are currently accommodated in four classrooms.The 20 matriculants commenced with their examinations on 15 October and managed to write their Computer Application Technology (CAT) paper in the computer room as it was not affected by the fire.The fire destroyed 11 classrooms, the administration block and the school hall.Spokesperson of the Department of Education, Geoffrey van der Merwe, said the department managed to secure the damaged area and it was declared safe. Van der Merwe said the MEC is satisfied with the work that is being done to normalise the situation at the school.Since the incident various stakeholders and the broader Sutherland community have come together to support and give donations, school textbooks and furniture, kitchen appliances, cutlery, printers and other supplies to the school.Following the incident learners and teachers received group counselling sessions for their emotional well-being.“All our interventions are aimed to ensure that the unfortunate event has no negative impact on any learner’s academic performance,” said Van der Merwe.“An insurance company committed to install fire extinguishers,” he said.The department will continue to monitor the situation at the school and will assist them with their preparation for the start of the 2019 school academic year.