Participation process for BELA Bill scheduled until March 2023 – Wynand Boshoff

FF Plus MP says it is best to withdraw Bill sooner rather than later

Participation process for BELA Bill scheduled until March 2023: Withdraw Bill sooner rather than later

19 April 2022

The progress made with the public participation process regarding the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA Bill) was reported to the parliamentary Portfolio Committee today.

The process has not yet commenced seeing as quotations for marketing are still outstanding. Nonetheless, public hearings have been scheduled until March 2023 and after that, the Bill must still be debated in all nine provincial legislatures.

Seeing as the Bill is already outdated, these costs must rather be saved until the Bill has been fundamentally revised.

The problems with the Bill are both practical and ideological in nature. Ideologically speaking, the ability to manage education is being taken out of the hands of communities and placed in the hands of officials.

Practically speaking, alternative forms of education, like micro-schools, online schools and the various combinations of these with traditional schools, are overlooked entirely in the Bill. And that is why it can be labelled as outdated.

While waiting for the Portfolio Committee to get its process going, parents and other stakeholders can support the FF Plus's action against the legislative amendment by visiting the following link: (https://forms.gle/fUDpmpnn7KEebYxV8). The Bill's full text can be accessed here: (https://www.parliament.gov.za/bill/2300398

Meanwhile, the FF Plus suggested in today’s meeting that the Portfolio Committee must first thoroughly discuss the Bill clause by clause so that the necessary changes can be made.

The sections dealing with home-schools, for instance, must be removed so that a separate law can regulate the practice of alternative education. It seems, however, that the ANC members want to proceed with the current process.

The FF Plus still maintains that we must ring the bell about the BELA Bill. 

(Attached herewith is a comprehensive background article by Dr Wynand Boshoff, providing clarity on all aspects and possible consequences of the BELA Bill as well as the reasons why the FF Plus is opposed to it.)

Issued by Wynand Boshoff, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson: Basic Education, 19 April 2022