With Grade 12 final exams to commence soon the one thing learners cannot afford is to be distracted by acts of vandalism so violent that a filing cabinet containing pupils’ files was reduced to ashes after being set alight.
Mmamafa Secondary School in Matikiring Village just outside Polokwane was the victim of perpetrators, suspected to be learners from the school who, since last Wednesday, wrecked the school with the result that by Sunday all classroom windows had been broken and a burning piece of carpet was pushed through a window of the administration block to cause the filing cabinet go up in flames.
“We do not know what the reasons are but we suspect it might be learners not performing so well. Why else would someone set alight the filing cabinet containing test results,” Deputy Chairperson of the School Governing Body (SGB) Joyce Moloko asked.
According to Moloko this is not the first time and the school has been burdened by vandalism and criminal actions in the past where computers were damaged and laptops stolen. A stack of not less than 100 broken tables and chairs also confirms learners’ uncaring attitude towards school property.
“Some learners who really want to be educated already indicated that they would rather leave school and enrol elsewhere. They are stressed because of the ongoing activities and it reflects on their marks. All results and files for Grade 8 Technology and Social Science, Grade 9 Social Science and grades 8, 9 and 10 Sepedi were destroyed in the fire,” Moloko said.
On Monday representatives of the Department of Education visited the school but to the disappointment of the SGB they were allegedly told to approach local businesses for assistance with repairs and replacement of damaged items as the department supposedly doesn’t have money.
Naledzani Rasila, Head of Communications at the Department of Education was not aware of the situation at the school but said he will make a follow-up with the circuit manager.
“Since the beginning of the year in areas such as Malamulele and Seshego schools were damaged during violent protests.
“The department has allocated some money to assist with the repairing of those schools but the department does not have enough money to respond to all demands from schools,” Rasila said.
He added that more than five schools were damaged since the beginning of the year of which three are in Malamulele. He could not provide the amount set aside by the department for repairing schools in the province.
Story: RC Myburgh