SA facing an education emergency - Save The Children

The education sector is one of those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. It took another knock when looters targeted more than 100 schools in KwaZulu-Natal last week.

Picture: @ECDOEZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Child rights organisation, Save The Children, said that it was gravely concerned about the future of children in South Africa.

The education sector is one of those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It took another knock when looters targeted more than 100 schools in KwaZulu-Natal last week.

The KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC has visited schools to assess the damage caused by the violence and looting. At least 139 schools were damaged or affected.

Save The Children South Africa's Steve Miller said that they were supporting several schools that suffered damage in KwaZulu-Natal last week and one of them was for children with disabilities.

The extent of the damage varied - in one case a school was burnt to the ground while in other cases damage was done to roofs, windows and furniture. Miller said that the country was facing an education emergency.

“In most cases, you've had stock theft of foodstuffs, as well as cooking equipment critical for the nutrition programme,” he said.

Miller said that the destruction of schools was a direct infringement on children's right to basic education, and it further compromised the ability to get children safely back into the classroom.

“There were already 1,718 schools that were undergoing repair after having been damaged during the lockdown. The thing is these schools are soft targets,” Miller said.

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