Classes grind to halt as gale-force winds blow away school’s roof

Hundreds of pupils at a North West school spent the week at home because their school was damaged by strong winds during the spring holidays.

This has resulted in irate parents of the pupils at Badumedi Secondary School in Radium, North West, slamming the provincial department for dragging its feet in providing contingency measures before the schools reopened last week.

An enraged parent, who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, said the department was notified of the natural disaster on September 19.

“The roofs of the school buildings were blown away by violent winds over the September holidays, leaving the school with six damaged classrooms.We reported the matter to the department soon after it happened, however, there was no action from their side,” said the parent.

This week when the school opened for the fourth term, the pupils were sent back home because of safety concerns.

“Our children have missed out on a week of schooling because the buildings are not safe to be occupied by the pupils,” said the parent.

North-West department of education spokesperson Mphata Molokwane said the department was aware of the situation at Badumedi Secondary.

He said the department visited the school on Thursday.

“As the department, we are working tirelessly to ensure that we bring temporary mobile classrooms so that the final quarter can commence peacefully, while the buildings are still under renovation,” said Molokwane.

Another parent, Sello Chipa, said he hoped the department would honour its promise to provide mobile classrooms for their children’s education to continue.

Chipa said as a temporary measure, it was agreed at a school meeting on Thursday that the grade 8 and 9 classes would attend on a rotational basis, with grades only 10, 11 and 12 attending full-time.

“We were here when the department arrived, and they told us that they will be providing the school with mobile classrooms while they look for a permanent solution. All we want is for our children to continue learning,” he said.


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