The minister of education, ‘Makabelo Mosothoane, on Wednesday visited ‘Malithuso High School in Mapoteng following the death of one of the school’s teachers and her husband, last weekend.
The couple’s vehicle was swept away as the family tried to cross a flooded river on Sunday, with the husband’s body being recovered the following day while the woman’s was found on Tuesday following a search by villagers and the police.
According to the ministry’s information officer, Mary Mokemane, the purpose of Mosothoane’s visit was to pay homage and console teachers
and students following the tragic incident.
“The Minister is also touched by the tragic death of the teacher and her husband. The teachers and students were hurting. Teachers said the students broke down when they heard that her body had been found,” Mokemane said.
“It was clear that they had lost a valuable teacher.
“The Minister was shown the analysis of her last academic work which was very impressive.”
Mosothoane said she would inform her colleagues in government about the poor conditions of the road and bridge where the accident happened.
“The teachers said the bridge where the accident happened is old and too low. They said they feared for the safety of students who use the bridge every school-day.”
Lessons stopped for two days at the school where the woman was teaching Religious Studies and Sesotho.
The school’s deputy principal, Kali Tšolo, said the students had been traumatised by the death of their teacher.
“We are deeply hurt by their painful deaths, but the students are taking it the hardest, especially those that she taught. We think they might need some counseling to cope with the loss,” Tšolo said.
He also expressed concern over the safety of students and other local residents who use the bridge.
“We have students who use the bridge when they come to school and when they go back home.
“On rainy days, the learners don’t attend classes for their safety. We have to release them early from school when we see rain coming so that they use the bridge while it is still safe,” Tšolo said, adding there was urgent need for the construction of a proper bridge in order to avoid more tragedies.
Meanwhile , Finance Minister Leketekete Ketso has proposed the allocation of M811 million for road construction and M97 million for foot bridges in the 2014/2015 financial year.
“In 2014/15, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport will continue with the on-going construction of main trunk roads and bridges, as well as proposed new projects to complement the existing investments. On the other hand, the Ministry of Local Government will focus on urban and rural roads as well as foot bridges under the local authorities,” Ketso said.