Over 50 schools have been damaged and torched in Kwazulu-Natal. This comes after reports that 16 more schools from the uMgungundlovu District have been counted among those which were damaged or looted during the violent riots last week.
Furthermore, the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department has stated that an additional nine high schools, five primary schools, a teachers development centre and another educational centre were looted during the unrest.
According to reports by Sowetan Provincial education departmental spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed that more than 50 schools, two circuit offices and two education centres were hit as violence spread throughout the province.
“Some were looted, torched and damaged. We have not been able to quantify the extent of the damage and the number of schools at this point in time. Unlike during the lockdown, when our officials were able to go around to establish all the facts, their mobility is limited this time around,” Mahlambi was quoted as saying
Save The Children CEO, Steve Miller, called for the vandalism of schools to stop by emphasising the importance of schools in communities and the consequences of their destruction.
"Schools are not just four walls and a roof, they are not just a place for the education of children. If Covid-19 has taught us anything it is that they play such a huge role in our community. Our children get nutritious meals at school. A school is a safe place for children when sometimes its not safe at home, a place where they can socialise and meet with friends again in a safe space where they interact and learn through play," he said
A school is for the community in that it brings parents together and the symbolism of a school, what it represents, the future of children is so key. So when you vandalise such a place, when you steal from it or burn it you are directly attacking a community.
Save The Children supports nine out of the 35 schools that which teachers union Naptosa reported to have been vandalized last week. The Department of Education in KwaZulu Natal is still doing further assessments of the extent of the damage in schools.