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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Classroom ceiling collapses, injuring 18 pupils in Tembisa

The Gauteng Education Department has called on school governing bodies to report challenges after the ceiling collapse.

When a Grade 6 class sat down and opened their books at Umthambeka Primary School on Tuesday, they could never have expected they would be lying in hospital beds a few hours later.

A total of 18 pupils were injured when the classroom ceiling collapsed on them and they had to be rushed to nearby medical facilities.

ALSO READ: Part of ceiling collapse in class at east school

Investigation launched into ceiling collapse

Gauteng Education MEC Matome Chiloane said he was deeply concerned by the incident, which by the afternoon saw two pupils still receiving care at medical centres while the remaining 16 were discharged to recuperate further at home.

“The cause of the incident is unknown at this stage. As such, we have launched an investigation into circumstances surrounding this incident,” the department said.

“Further information will be acquired from the school management team (SMT), school governing body (SGB) and the district accordingly.”

The Department of Education said its psycho-social support team will be sent to the school on Wednesday to provide counselling to those affected.

“We are indeed concerned by the occurrence of this incident and find it unfortunate that our children were injured in such a manner at school,” Chiloane said.

“We would like to wish all affected learners a speedy recovery. Furthermore, we call upon SGB members [to] always be vigilant of challenges faced by their schools and report them to the department for necessary attention.”

ALSO READ: Ceiling collapses while class in session

Classroom ceilings falling down

Four years ago, almost to the day, 20 pupils were injured when part of a ceiling collapsed in a school in Hammanskraal.

The pupils, also in Grade 6, were treated on the scene by paramedics before being taken to a nearby clinic.

Then, in June 2021, a part of a ceiling also collapsed on three pupils and an assistant teacher at Zakhele Primary school in Mamelodi East.

The pupils were left with minor injuries but at the time parents blamed the Department of Education for putting their children’s lives at risk.

ALSO READ: 20 learners injured as ceiling collapses at north school

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