A school losing three teachers, all at once. This is what happened to Riverlea High School in Johannesburg, whose teachers died in a car crash in Evaton in the Vaal on Sunday. The Gauteng Department of Education confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the teachers died on the scene of an accident that took place on Sunday.
Chief Director of Education in the Johannesburg district, Dennis Macuacua, told the media on Wednesday that the school started getting worried when these three educators failed to report for duty on Monday. “On Monday three of [the] educators were not at work and normally if the educators are absent they send a report to the principal,” Macuacua said. Then the school principal called the teachers, but they could not be reached on their cell phones. “On Tuesday morning the principal took one of the three teachers who is also a friend to one of the deceased teachers to Orange Farm because he is the one who had the information [about where they lived],” Macuacua said.
On arrival they checked with the landlord and neighbors, but they all indicated that the teacher was last seen on Friday. But the fellow teacher who had gone to Orange Farm with the principal said he last saw the then missing teacher on Saturday when he was going to watch a soccer match. “The principal went to the police station in Orange Farm to check if there was any report registered with the police, but was told there was none. He registered that he was missing three of his teachers,” Macuacua told journalists.
Later on the day, the teacher who had gone with the principal to Orange Farm was fetched by police from the school to make a statement. “This morning [Wednesday] the principal received news that indeed it is alleged that there was accident that involved a car with a similar description of the one that was owned by one of the educators,” said Macuacua. Only one family of a deceased teacher has identified the body and informed the school. The other two families are yet to identify bodies of their loved ones. Teaching and learning at Riverlea High School continues despite the school losing three teachers.
“I think you will appreciate the fact that obviously when we have lost three teachers, there will be a gap and normally as part of our support programme - other than providing counseling - we do come up with a catch-up programme,” Mauacua said.