Textbooks, sports equipment lost as NW school administration block burns down

A case of arson is under investigation after a school administration block burnt down.
A case of arson is under investigation after a school administration block burnt down.
Image: SAMORN TARAPAN/123rf.com

Ten offices burnt down when the administration block caught fire at Machama Primary School at Manamakgoteng village near Moruleng in the North West.

This is the third incident to happen at the school during the Covid-19 lockdown. The electricity cables and CCTV cameras were stolen during the two previous occasions, the provincial education department said.

Over 100 schools have been hit by vandalism in the province during lockdown so far, the department said.

“The burnt-down administration block at Machama Primary School follows a series of burglary and vandalism incidents in schools across the province that have been reported to the department during the lockdown,” it stated.

The cause of the blaze is yet to be determined.

Items destroyed by the fire included furniture, term 2 and 3 workbooks, textbooks for all subjects, printers, a photocopying machine, microwave, stove, garden equipment, athletic equipment, sports attire for all codes donated by the national lottery, science equipment, two refrigerators and a piano.

A case of arson was opened with the police. No arrests have been made as yet.

North West education MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela pleaded for the speedy arrests of the culprits.

“As a department, we are extremely disappointed and disgusted by the insensitive incident of burning the administration block of the school.

“Since the lockdown has started, our department has became a major victim of vandalism. Criminals have destroyed our infrastructure and many resources in schools without any regard for the education of the children.

“I want to remind our communities that all schools belong to them. Whenever a school is built at any area, the community needs to be responsible to look after that particular school. This destruction happening at our schools will have a negative impact towards the education of learners. I am appealing to the law enforcement agencies to get to the bottom of the cause of fire and arrest the perpetrators”, said Matsemela.

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