[lg policy] South Africa: Reports that MEC wants school powers ‘malicious’

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 14:32:51 UTC 2015

Reports that MEC wants school powers ‘malicious’
RDM News Wire | 30 September, 2015 19:11
Earlier on Wednesday‚ AfriForum appealed to Lesufi to resign. File photo
The Gauteng Department of Education on Wednesday strongly denied reports
which suggest that the Gauteng MEC for education‚ Panyaza Lesufi‚ wanted
powers to regulate school admissions and enforce language policies in all
Gauteng public schools.

“These media reports are incorrect‚ misleading and malicious‚” the
department said.

Earlier on Wednesday‚ AfriForum appealed to Lesufi to resign.

It said the Schools Act “currently provides that governing bodies may inter
alia decide on schools’ language‚ admission‚ religious and employment
policies - a process which AfriForum regards to be democratic‚ ensuring
that schools serve their respective communities”.

According to Alana Bailey‚ deputy CEO of AfriForum responsible for language
issues‚ the MEC did not have the power to revise legislation.

The education department explained that following the hosting of a
provincial education summit‚ delegates representing a wide range of
education stakeholders in the province were divided into five commissions.
One of these commissions dealt with the issue of the South African Schools
Act and Governing Body Associations.

Summit participants had expressed concerns about the powers given to school
governing bodies about admissions‚ language policy‚ recruitment and
selection of educators and school management teams‚ religious policy and
code of conduct of learners.

“The commission therefore recommended that the MEC must be given powers by
law‚ to regulate language and admission policies.”

The department said that on Wednesday the chairperson of the Gauteng
Education Portfolio Committee Joe Mpisi had reported back on inputs made by
the commission on the review of the South African Schools Act and had
emphasised that communities would be consulted all the way.

“To then suggest that the MEC wants powers to dictate or enforce the
admission of learners in public schools and enforce language policies is
malicious and misleading.

“The MEC strongly upholds democratic values and principle of the
Constitution‚ which prescribes that everyone has the right to basic
education and that everyone has the right to receive education in the
official language or languages of their choice in public education
institutions‚ where that education is reasonably practicable.

“The MEC will therefore not act in any manner or take any particular
posture that suggests the violation of the Constitution‚” the department


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