The fear of what happened at Hoërskool Driehoek repeating itself has resulted in teaching not taking place for the past three weeks at Ennerdale secondary School.
The school governing body (SGB) shut the school down as they were concerned about the safety of the learners and teachers in a building they felt was not safe.
For the past two weeks the school gates were not locked and schoolchildren could access the school but not let into the classrooms. However, since Monday the gates are now locked and no one is allowed into the school.
The SGB chairperson, Delphine Botha said the school’s walkway imposes danger as it could collapse at any time.
“We have decided to close the school because of the danger this walkway have on our learners and teachers,” Botha said.
Botha said the decision to close the school was taken following the recent incident at the Hoërskool Driehoek, where a concrete slab of a walkway collapsed, killing four pupils and injuring more than 20.
“As the SGB and parents, we don’t want to see what happened at Driehoek happen at our school,” she said.
According to one of the teacher who preferred to remain anonymous, the school has for the past years been writing to the Gauteng Department of Education requesting help with rehabilitating the walkway. However, she said, nothing was ever done.
She said the department has been making promises to send temporary structure to the school, but no structure has been set up and learners have now have lost about three weeks of school.
“The department promised us a temporary structure, but no structure has been set up yet. Though we tried our best, our learners have lost about three weeks of school and this will badly impact our mid-year results,” she added.
Gauteng Education’s Steve Mabona confirmed that the department was aware of the matter but that they strongly condemn the disruption of schools by any one.
He said schools were given forms during a meeting with MEC Panyaza Lesufi on February where they were expected to identify all the infrastructural defects then return it to the department.
“We hope the said school has already provided the engineers with all necessary infrastructural defects that need urgent attention,” Mabona said.
“Subsequently, the appointed structural engineers will be dispatched to the said school to identify the defects and respond accordingly,” Mabona added.
The department said the district will immediately intervene and provide catch-up plan to recover the lost curriculum time. He also said they would continue to monitor the situation accordingly.