77 vandalised schools in Mpumalanga to be repaired ahead of 8 June re-opening

Fumigation takes place in a classroom in preparation of the opening of schools under Level 3 lockdown.
Fumigation takes place in a classroom in preparation of the opening of schools under Level 3 lockdown.
GCIS
  • The Mpumalanga Education Department says it is in the process of repairing vandalised schools in the province.
  • Rand Water is also in the province and will assist with water tanks in areas without any adequate provision.
  • While the department says it is working on ensuring schools and offices are safe, it urges parents and guardians to work with the sector.

Repairs are expected to get underway at 77 schools vandalised and burgled during the lockdown in Mpumalanga, the provincial department of education has said. 

At least 147 schools were broken into or vandalised across the province. From the total, 77 needed infrastructure repairs, spokesperson Jasper Zwane said on Wednesday. 

As the 8 June re-opening looms, Zwane said the department had put systems in place to ensure that there were measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the sector. 

He said teachers whose schools had already received personal protective equipment (PPE) were expected to report for work to prepare for returning pupils. 

READ| Schools reopening: What still needs to be done to get pupils back in classrooms

Zwane said teachers and support staff would be inducted and orientated and would in turn be expected to orientate and educate pupils on how to prevent the spread of the virus once they return.

"Deliveries of PPEs, and the provision of water and sanitation to the schools is receiving our utmost attention as safety is our top priority.  

"Deep cleaning of schools should be done on an ongoing basis and in this regard we want to express our gratitude to School Governing Bodies for executing this important task," Zwane said.

Education MEC Bonakele Majuba has been visiting schools in the province to assess compliance and progress as part of the reopening plans.

Face masks

Zwane said training of screeners, cleaners and volunteers for the national school nutrition programme was also being finalised. 

Parents and guardians have also been urged to work with the sector and not send any pupil who may show symptoms of the virus to school although screenings will be conducted daily at the premises and pupils given face masks.  

ALSO READ | North West education dept confident schools will reopen as planned after principal tests positive

"This provision of cloth face masks is not a matter of choice but a serious mandatory undertaking to ensure that all of us comply with the safety standards and protocols. It is also essential that social distancing requirements are observed at every site under the jurisdiction of the department."

Speaking to school management teams during his Tuesday visit, Majuba said Rand Water was already in the province to ensure schools had adequate provision, as promised by Minister Angie Motshekga - and that where there was no water, tanks would be provided, Sowetan Live reported.

Majuba said schools that were not safe, would be closed. 

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