Floods stop schooling

PUPILS at Nelson Ramodike High School in Tzaneen can only go back to school after a week or two when the water level of the full-to-capacity Lethabine River has lowered.

Sowetan published a report last week highlighting the plight of pupils each time it rains in the province.

Pupils from the surrounding villages have had to stay at home for a week since the river burst at the seams.

Only those who could afford taxi fares of R13 for a trip from Tiekline to Marumofase village attended school.

Principal Makole Mashapu said a few pupils who live in Lenyenye and surrounding villages reported for school yesterday because the river was still overflowing.

"It is very dangerous to cross the river as other children have drowned in the river before," she said.

"To the school and to the community, one life lost is one too many and we cannot afford to risk the lives of these children at the expense of learning."

However, learning and teaching has resumed at other schools which had experienced a similar problem to Nelson Ramodike.

The rain stopped on Sunday in most parts of the province, bringing down water levels and making it possible for children to cross rivers and go to school.

Learning and teaching also resumed in earnest in Lephepane and Khopho where children had been sent home because the floods.

The provincial department of education said it will send inspectors to assess the extent of the problems suffered by the schools this week.

Departmental spokesperson Ndo Mangala said his department viewed the problems faced by the schools in a serious light.

"Education is the only key we have to a prosperous future and we cannot afford to lose more time in our school syllabus due to rain," he said.