Fire a disaster for teachers and pupils

Boitumelo Tshehle

Boitumelo Tshehle

A fire at a North West secondary school has destroyed books and examination files and dashed the hopes of teachers and pupils.

Pupils at Gakologelwang Secondary School in Makgokgane village will not be getting their first-term reports because the library and staff room were burnt down on Sunday.

All the files and examination results were kept in the library and were destroyed in the fire.

Books worth about R150000 and furniture and files belonging to the teachers were destroyed.

Principal Edith Diole said staff and pupils were demoralised.

"We will start afresh. There is nothing else we can do. We cannot give the children reports because the mark schedules and the files are in ashes," she said.

"All nine of my teachers are demoralised and we need someone to come and boost our morale."

Arson is suspected.

Diole said: "Tell me where on earth are we going to get marks for these children? We will have to cover lost ground and assess the pupils all over again."

She said that on Friday afternoon everything was fine and the pupils were happy and performing drama and speeches.

"We did not expect to come back to a burnt-out school on Monday. Time is against us. We could not teach on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday because we do not have any material," said Diole.

Most of the books that were burnt were story books, and English and Afrikaans textbooks.

Refiloe Molefe, 15, and Violet Dukhi, 15, said they are very upset. "We have worked so hard. This is really hurting us," they said.

But they are determined to succeed. They said nothing would stand in their way and they were confident that they would pass with flying colours, regardless of their situation.

"We are going to work harder than ever and we are going to do our best," they said.

North West Education Department spokesman, Charles Raseala, said the department would help the school to open a criminal case.