Faizel Patel - 14/01/2020
The Centre of Child Law at the University of Pretoria says schools may no longer turn a learner away because they do not have the relevant documentation.
This comes after a high court ruling that no school may deny a child, whether it is a local or foreign child, the right to attend school because of a lack of IDs, permits or passports.
The High Court in Grahamstown ruled that the admission policy of the Department of Basic Education was unconstitutional where it barred undocumented children - both South African and non-national children - from attending school because they were undocumented.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Attorney Alexandra Klonarides from the Centre of Child Law at the University of Pretoria says they went to court because home affairs department was trying to implement their immigration policies through education and fundamental rights.
“There’s a misinformed idea that a lot of people cross the borders to access our fundamental rights, basic education, medicine all of that which isn’t really the case. So that’s why we had to go to court.”
Klonarides says the judge ruled that the right to education is an unlimited right.
“You can’t choose who you going to provide education to and who you aren’t going to provide education to and also that it’s an incredibly powerful right especially for our indigenous communities because it provides the tools to uplift people and pull people out of poverty. So ultimately the outcome of the judgment was that everyone within the borders of South Africa has a right to access education.”
Klonarides says more South Africans were affected by the policy than foreigners.
Listen to the interview with Attorney Alexandra Klonarides