Fire razes classrooms

Letsholathebe Primary School lost two classrooms to fire recently, just a few weeks before pupils sit for their end of term examinations.

An eye witness, Ms Orebotse Maphuru, who is also a teacher at the school, said in an interview that she was with her standard five pupils revising for the upcoming examinations when the fire broke out around 3 pm.

She stated that they were alerted by the smell of smoke. One of her pupils went outside and discovered a huge white smoke coming from the storeroom in the classroom next door. She said before they knew it, the fire escalated, covering their block with smoke.

They all panicked and ran out of the classroom. A few ran out with their books while others left everything behind. The burnt classroom block housed standard six and five classes, one of which is taught by Ms Maphuru.

The school head, Ms Kemoneilwe Majoko, believes that there was an error in power connection because when the school re-opened in August this year, they discovered that the lights in the two classrooms could never be switched off.

She indicated that even though she reported the fault repeatedly to the North East District Council, the problem is yet to be attended to.

“I am so stressed because my students are about to write their exams and I do not know what they are going to write because some are still traumatised,” she said.

Ms Majoko, who was also traumatised, said that she will request a temporary structure to house the pupils. The standard six class suffered the most loss since nothing was saved from its classroom. Both classes lost all their textbooks and other teaching aids.

For his part, North East District senior public relations officer Mr Caiphus Gabana indicated that they are still to conduct investigations to ascertain what might have caused the fire. He said the council will have to bear the responsibility of replacing the burnt classrooms.

He also said that they will come up with a plan to see how they can assist the school so that the affected students can carry on with their lessons.