Fire damage at Katleho Secondary School in Vrede estimated at R150 million

The Free State Department of Education says fire damage to the Intuthuko Katleho Secondary School in Vrede is estimated at R150 million.

The fire started in the administration block and spread throughout the school. Learners have been moved to other schools in the area to continue with teaching and learning.

Education MEC Tate Makgoe conducted an oversight visit to the school to assess the extent of the damage.

Makgoe says the school will be fully operational in a month’s time.

“There is definitely overcrowding in some of the schools. We have identified that we’ve got capacity now in the school that’s the part that did not burn down, where we can bring within the next two weeks the grade eight and nine (learners) and then we create more space because there are other schools that have extra mobile classrooms, so we have identified a space for mobile classes.”

Meanwhile, school principal, Richard Sekhoetsane, says he appreciates the swift response from the Department of Education.

“I am happy this morning teachers were in class, yes of course there are other challenges like overcrowding, but we are addressing them. We talked to the principal of the other school so that we can deal with the issue of overcrowding.”

School Governing Body deputy chairperson, Thabiso Mofokeng, says they had to make sure that academic activities continue despite the challenge of overcrowding.

Mofokeng says the schools nearby are helping.

“As parents, we are willing to see our children continue with studies. That’s why we decided to take our children to other schools as ours is burnt down.”

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