THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education says it is concerned over the recent incidents of burning down of the department’s structures.
This after KwaMncane Secondary School in Elandskop was torched last during break time last Wednesday, burning down two classes. Teaching, however, was not interrupted.
The two classes that were burned are said to be used to store old unused books.
It is alleged that the fire was started by two groups of pupils who have been fighting due to social media posts.
In a separate incident on Monday, a room at the hostel in Linpark Secondary School was burnt.
A Grade 12 pupil’s books, bedding and all other belongings was destroyed.
Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said they are deeply concerned about the incidents that have occurred.
In the space of a month, five of the department’s structures have been burnt in Msunduzi Municipality.
Four schools — Nsika Secondary, Silver Heights Secondary, Linpark High, KwaMncane Secondary — and the department’s district office.
At Nsika Secondary School three classrooms were burnt and at Silver Heights High a staff room was burnt down.
“It appears that there is a message that is being communicated to us through these criminal activities. For now, we do not know what is the narrative but working with the law enforcement agencies we are looking in these matters. Because they are professionals they will come up with a scope and narrow it so that it will propel us into a proper investigation,” he said.
He said this will help address other issues besides the recent fires.
“If you know the narrative as to why these things [happen] then you will be able to address the issues than to renovate the structures which doesn’t guarantee that they won’t be burnt down again because you haven’t addressed the real issue.”
Meanwhile, Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu has warned pupils to stop destroying the government structures and stealing equipment and furniture that belongs to the school. Mshengu was speaking at the official launch of the computer lab at Siqongweni Secondary last Thursday.
“Do not break the windows and doors at schools. We will arrest those who are destroying our structures.
“If you see something that belongs to a school please report it because that means that person stole it from the school,” he said.