[lg policy] South Africa: Education loses in Gauteng’s plans

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue May 26 15:20:56 UTC 2015

 Education loses in Gauteng’s plans
 Batlile Phaladi
 [image: FILE PICTURE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture:
Werner Beukes/SAPA]
 FILE PICTURE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Werner
 Disgruntled parents of single-medium schools are dragging Gauteng
education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to court, saying his decision to make parents
apply for admission electronically was merely an effort to take control of
the placement of pupils.

The Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools’ (Fedsas) chief executive
officer, Paul Colditz, said Lesufi’s decision undermined the Schools Act,
which stated school governing bodies are responsible for schools’
admissions policy.

The MEC announced earlier this year no parent should have to queue outside
school buildings to try to ensure admission to a school of their choice.
These application should be done electronically at all Gauteng schools.

Fedsas had sent an urgent letter to the head of education in Gauteng, Boy
Ngobeni, demanding the allegedly irregular requirements of the electronic
system be retracted.

The education department insisted on moving forward with the electronic
admission selection, which resulted in Fedsas taking the department to
court. Colditz said the e-platform in its current form does not allow for
schools’ admissions and language policy, which also goes against the
Schools Act.

“The e-platform takes into account two criteria for placement: whether a
parent or guardian lives or works within the school’s area and whether an
applicant has a sibling in the same school.”

Colditz said Lesufi’s copy-and-paste project would destroy schools instead
of building them up.

“Parents take their children to school looking at the culture, language and
the standard of the school. Letting this e-platform take over would mean
the school would not have control over who they admit.

“We request parents to apply at the school of their choice as a matter of
urgency and to avoid applying electronically. Applications via the central
e-platform will lead to schools having no record of applications,” said

“It is shocking that, even though Fedsas was successful with a court case
in which large sections of the admissions regulations were scrapped in
2013, the department is still interfering with schools’ admissions and
language policies.

“We want to make it very clear Fedsas is in favour of cooperating with
education role-players.”

Colditz said improved processes “should not complicate matters further”.

– *batlilep at citizen.co.za <batlilep at citizen.co.za>*


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