Huge concern expressed over school bill – Solidarity

Movement says amendment bill contained worrying clauses aimed at stripping SGBs of their powers

Thousands of responses on the education amendment bill emphasise public’s concern

8 November 2017

There are only two days left for the public to respond on the education amendment bill announced by the Minister of Basic Education on 13 October. Solidarity calls on all parents, teachers and concerned members of the community to send their responses to prevent schools from being nationalised and becoming state institutions. 

Solidarity said earlier that the amendment bill contained perturbing clauses aiming to strip governing bodies, staff and parents of their powers and aiming to place schools completely under state control.

According to Francois Redelinghuys, Communications Manager at Solidarity, the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi confirmed the cause for concern in a radio interview on Radio702 on 2 November. “His statements that class rooms should be enlarged to accommodate 60 to 70 learners in a class, and that control should be applied over appointments, are worrying. If these amendments are approved, teachers will have no say in where they want to exercise their profession,” Redelinghuys said.  

Redelinghuys argues that parents have a democratic right to make decisions through governing bodies regarding their children and the schools in their community. That is why Solidarity has created a platform where any member of the public may voice their objection to and provide comments on the bill.  

According to Redelinghuys, about 80 000 people have already responded on this platform. “This figure highlights the concerns with regard to the amendment bill. It also proves that the public still consider schools to be community institutions, and that the future of schools is important to the public. 

Solidarity’s goal is to receive 100 000 responses by 10 November so that all these responses can be handed over to the Department of Education on 13 November. 

“Protect the schools in your community to ensure a future for your child. Make your voice heard against the amendment bill that threatens to strip our schools of their independence,” Redelinghuys warned. 

Issued by Francois Redelinghuys, Communications Manager: Solidarity, 8 November 2017