A total of 21 schools affected by the Western Cape storms have been forced to close due to infrastructure and road damages blocking access to schools' premises.
Western Cape Education MEC David Maynier said 249 schools in the province have been affected by the storm over the weekend.
“Infrastructure damages were reported by 150 schools out of the 249, ranging from minor leaks to major roof damage, and we are working to assess these damages at present. Thirty-nine schools were closed on Tuesday, and this was reduced to 21 schools on Wednesday, with the vast majority as a result of access roads to school being blocked,” Maynier said.
Briefing the media after visiting Franschhoek High School on Wednesday morning, Maynier said the school has been closed since the weekend’s storms, as it currently has no water and electricity supply, and substantial flooding to the access roads makes it impossible for 650 learners to attend school.
While other schools are open, Maynier said many schools reported low attendance as learners struggle to reach schools in flood-damaged areas.
“The preliminary attendance figures indicates that 30.1% of learners were not able to attend school on Tuesday, and 31.4% were not able to attend on Wednesday. The officials are working with schools to ensure that all schools can reopen as soon as possible, and we encourage parents to keep in contact with their schools for updates regarding closures.
“The schools will implement catch-up plans to ensure that learners do not fall behind as a result of the school days lost this week. Schools close for the spring holidays this Friday, which will provide some breathing room for repairs and restoration of access,” Maynier said.
Th MEC also expressed his deepest condolences to the families of three learners who passed away over the long weekend due to the storm.
He said counselling support has been provided to families and students who have lost lives.
“We thank the emergency services, our government and NGO partners, and our schools for the assistance they are rendering to our teachers, learners, and parents as we recover from this devastating storm,” Maynier said.
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