- The Department of Education has revealed that 367 schools have been vandalised or even torched since the beginning of the lockdown
- Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga considers the situation a 'state of emergency' amid an already fragile school year
- This comes after the department released tentative plans for schooling to resume once more
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Department of Education Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga has dubbed the apparent war against schools a 'state of emergency' after 367 schools were vandalised since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown.
In a statement released by the department, extreme concern was raised over the issue:
"The damage caused due to the torching and theft in the schools will have a negative impact on the implementation of the recovery plan once the lockdown is lifted. Provincial Education Departments have reported an alarming number of schools that have been vandalised.
"In all the burglaries learning and teaching equipment has been stolen together with other expensive items. The most common target areas in the schools are the administration blocks for Information Communication Technology equipment and in the nutrition centres for the food items."
READ ALSO: Covid-19: Dept of Education drafts tentative return dates for students
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has condemned the incidents, welcoming the arrests of 44 suspects in Gauteng in relation to them :
"It is really unfortunate that criminals in our communities could destroy the infrastructure of their own children. We applaud the work done by the Police and we hope that more arrests will be made. We want to see the arrest and prosecution of every single criminal responsible for this kind of behaviour."
Briefly.co.za reported that the department had released a draft plan with tentative dates for students to return to school should the current lockdown go as planned.
On a provincial level, Mpumalanga had reported the highest number of incidents to date, with the breakdown as follows
- Mpumalanga - 73
- Gauteng - 67
- Western Cape - 57
- North West - 55
- Northern Cape - 39
- KwaZulu-Natal - 34
- Limpopo - 30
- Eastern Cape - 26
- Free State - 16
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