Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

Schools turning learners away for outstanding fees have been warned

Preventing learners from registering due to a lack of fees is illegal. The EFF and DBE have sent out stern warnings to those schools.

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Some schools are prohibiting and preventing learners from registering due to a lack of fees. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) have since sent out a stern warning to these schools, making clear that it is an illegal practice. 

Learners are expected to return on Monday 15 February 2021. The full calendar for 2021 can be found here.

LEARNERS BARRED FROM REGISTRATION: EFF AND DBE RECEIVE REPORTS

The EFF, in a statement, said it has received reports regarding institutions that are restricting students from registering, withholding report cards and textbooks from learners due to outstanding school fees. 

“These actions are not only pathetic and inhumane, but are illegal and represent the highest form of disdain for children and the youth of this country. To stop innocent children from accessing education because of their financial background is the highest form of cruelty and inhumanity,” it said. 

“Any form of exclusion of children, be it withholding textbooks or demanding parents to buy children their own toilet paper or pay money towards toiletries and related amenities is a direct sabotage of this country’s future,” it added. 

The Department of Basic Education said it has been inundated with calls from parents whose children could not be registered in schools due to their inability to pay registration fees. 

SCHOOL GOVERNING BODIES, PRINCIPALS WARNED 

The EFF said these actions by schools are contributing factors to primary and high school dropouts, as children are reluctant to return to school due to humiliation of not having their results and fear of being chased away from school by teachers and Principals who have no grasp of the law or the value of education.

“The EFF calls on all parents who are unable to register their children at school, have not received their children’s results or have received ridiculous demands to purchase personal toiletries for their children to report this to the EFF on its various social media platforms,” it said. 

“Such cases will be attended to swiftly and the registration of children will be secured regardless of whether they have money or not,” it added. 

The DBE also sent out a stern warning to these schools saying; “We would like to warn all school governing bodies and principals to refrain from this illegal practice as it puts unnecessary pressure on parents. Parents are urged to report these unlawful practices to the nearest district or provincial education department offices,” it said.  

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