By Mumtaz Saley Moosa
It’s the end of the year and while many students and parents eagerly await the end of the year results, many children will not know due to outstanding school fees.
Many schools across the country have been using clever tactics to ensure that they can close the year by blackmailing parents. While there is an importance for one to pay school fees, the Department of Education has instructed parents and school that a learner can not be forced to suffer the pains of their parent’s debts.
“The department makes it clear that a school may not withhold reports or matric certificates under no circumstance”
In fact, schools’ hand parents, the report envelope and inside is a letter to come into the school's office and sign an agreement of debt. Some schools aren’t allowing children to be enrolled for the new year due to unpaid school fees.
The following regulations state the following, all can be found online on the Department of Education’s website.
- Section 25 (12) of the National Protocol of Assessment 2011, no school may withhold a report card under any circumstance.
- 2006- An amendment to the South African schools Act makes it illegal for pupils to be marginalized.
- The Act prohibits keeping learners out of school or denying them textbooks.
Schools do talk to each other when you need to change schools and one of the reasons a child is denied entry into a school falls in the communication between schools, this is also the reason we see more and more children in South Africa drop out of primary school.
My suggestion to parents is that if you can not afford the school fees, simply talk to the school and make a contribution to what you can. Usually in May of every school year school exempt forms are available and you may apply for a reduction in fees.
If schools whether private or public has stopped a learner from gaining a report or a transfer card the department of education should be contacted. The response on Twitter or email is usually within 24 hours.