A fire at Tokelo High School in Evaton – which was deliberately caused by “mindless thugs” – has led to the destruction of learner material worth an estimated R4 million, said the Gauteng Education Department.
Four information and communications technology (ICT) classrooms on the first floor of a block of eight classes burnt down in Thursday’s fire.
“Sadly, learner material retrievals and new stock was temporarily stored in one room and were all destroyed by fire. The loss is estimated at approximately R4 million,” said the department.
MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi was informed of the fire by the school’s principal in the early hours of Thursday.
Fire marshals at the scene have put the cause of the fire as arson while police continue their investigations.
Meanwhile, engineers will assist the department to determine which part of the school’s block may be used for schooling.
“We are hopeful that teaching and learning will not be hampered when schools open accordingly,” said the department.
Lesufi, who has expressed disappointment at the incident, said the department does not have funds available to repair the school.
“We wish to reiterate our disappointment in such incidents because they really derail our plans. Reality is that we do not have funds to repair the school, the department will check what can be salvaged from the burnt school.”
He called on anyone with knowledge of this “barbaric act” to please inform the police.
“The community must be vigilant and assist to track suspects and inform the police,” said the MEC.