The destruction of learning material worth more than R400 000 in a fire at a school in Bloemfontein is a setback to the Department of Education in the Free State.
The newly procured learning and teaching material was destroyed after a school hall was petrol bombed.
Gonyane Primary School hall and administration block were set on fire on Friday morning. The Department of Education says it believes this was a targeted attack and suspects it was an inside job. This is the fifth school to burn in the province in less than a year.
It was a terrible start to the academic year for learners and teachers at Gonyane Primary school. According to the Department of Education, the last batch of the learning material and stationery arrived on Thursday. An attempt to torch the school’s administration block was also made.
A fire at a Bloemfontein school destroys learning materials worth more than R400 000
The Education MEC Tate Makgoe has appealed to the police to investigate and find the culprits.
“This is going to affect more than 1100 learners from grades R to 7. The school was ready and readying itself. The schools are opening next week and the learners and teachers were ready. I think it’s very, very bad,” says Makgoe.
Makgoe says it was only luck that the fire did not destroy any infrastructure.
“So you see the people who did this have got inside information, the books were delivered only yesterday and on the very same day they are torched. So it’s clear the police should not look very far,” says Makgoe.
The department says it is in talks with other schools to receive assistance with learning material while it sources funds to procure new material for Gonyane.
Police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property.