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Theron High School in Britstown burns down: Urgent attention needed

Education in the Northern Cape has taken yet another blow as the historic Theron High School in Britstown has burnt down. Regardless of whether the fire was caused by arson or if it was accidental, it points to a serious problem in the provincial Department of Education that must be addressed.

This follows just a few years after another fire left the school's hostel in ruins. Other schools in the province have had the same misfortune.

If the fire was accidental, it means that there is a problem with the upkeep of the ageing buildings of the schools in the province. If the rumours that it was arson are true, then there is a much bigger underlying problem that will not be solved by better upkeep.

Unfortunately, education in South Africa is infamous for the fact that the system does not deliver learners who are adequately prepared for further studies or starting a career. This could make scholars feel like there is no purpose in attending school or subjecting themselves to the discipline related to attending school. And thus, any chances of an improvement in their socio-economic circumstances are ruined.

The ANC simply cannot distance itself from this crisis. Before the new dispensation took over in 1994, burning down schools was one of the people's favourite ways to show their dissatisfaction with the government of the time. Seeing as the current government is unable to improve the living conditions of the people in the rural areas, they gladly repeat behavioural patterns that, according to them, worked in the past.

The time has come for communities, the private sector and the Department of Education to put their heads together to find a way to make scholastic education financially beneficial. Otherwise, the vandalization of infrastructure will not come to an end.

Contact details: 074 166 5540

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