The academic programme in KwaZulu-Natal has been severely disrupted as schools in flood-stricken schools had to halt learning and teaching.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and provincial authorities are assessing the impact of the damage at schools affected by the recent floods.
57 learners, one teacher and one food handler died in the floods in the province and about 500 people were killed in flood-related incidents.
Many schools are inaccessible and covered in mud. Some are situated across swollen rivers and dams, with eroded roads and broken bridges.
Assessing the extent of the damage in the wake of the devastating floods, Education authorities found that 630 schools have been affected, with another 101 being inaccessible.
Learners are worried about their school work after losing their projects, and school books.
According to preliminary reports, the damage to schools amounts to R442 million. The Department of Basic Education says it will prioritise teaching and learning by pooling all the available resources to cover the time lost during the floods.
Minister Angie Motshekga assesses the impact of floods on KZN schools:
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga says, “We will settle down as soon as possible, where we can’t settle them down, we will have to. The MEC has a very good plan – send them to neighbouring schools, keep them at centres. But for now, we are assessing what the damages are what is possible under circumstances and what we need to do where we are unable to really send kids back to school for a normal learning, bring whatever resources we have.”
Unions have urged the government to provide psycho-social support for affected teachers. They have also committed to working with the government to ease the challenges faced by teachers and learners.
KZN South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) Nomarashiya Caluza says, “As Sadtu we will continue to mobilise the society, those that were not affected to assist. We must not wait for the government. We must do everything in our power…”
National Teachers’ Union (Natu) Sbusiso Malinga says, “We need all people of SA to join hands together to assist. You know what has happened, we have kids who have lost everything. There’s a family that lost all ten members…”
Meanwhile, community members are assisting by cleaning schools in an effort to restore normality and a conducive learning and teaching environment.
Minister Angie Motshekga assesses impact of floods on KZN schools | PART 2
Learners housed at Ntuzuma hall were successfully placed in surrounding schools. The minister is seen giving stationary to the leaners and will be given uniforms by Friday. pic.twitter.com/MzkF6607dM
— Kwazi Mshengu (@MshenguKwazi) April 19, 2022
NATU President (A) Mr S.V. Malinga spent the day visiting schools together with the MEC & Minister. NATU is consolidating a list of affected learners & schools through Branches in the Durban, South Coast & Ilembe Regions; & calls on members to forward such information to BECs. pic.twitter.com/9GCOrndaiZ
— NATIONAL TEACHERS’ UNION (@NATIONALTEACHE2) April 19, 2022
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) April 19, 2022
Mobile classrooms are being dispatched to affected schools. In some communities, classrooms are being used as shelters for displaced people.