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Amendments to SA Schools Act
The proposed amendments to the South African Schools Act will have a major impact on the independence of schools. Governing Bodies will lose almost all their powers with regard to pupil admissions, the school’s language policy and the appointment of teachers. Schools will simply be nationalised to become state institutions, which will result in major service delivery problems, schools becoming affirmative action targets, and overall decay setting in.
We will fight this amendment bill by participating in the public participation process. Thousands of people must comment on the bill. Solidarity has created the platform to make this possible.
Should the amendment bill actually be passed, we’ll continue the fight in court to have it declared unconstitutional.
Solidarity believes that schools are community institutions. Parents invest a lot in their community schools because it is also an investment in their children.
We realise that we must start working towards establishing our own, private education institutions as a viable long-term alternative – one that still includes the community served by the school, and one that will ensure the preservation of quality education and excellent teachers.
Governing Bodies’ say in school affairs will be undermined.
The languages and admission policies of schools will have to be approved by the Head of the Education Department and must be changed at his instruction.
Governing Bodies will lose their right to make decisions regarding the school’s capacity, the language of instruction and admissions.
The Head of the Education Department will have the power to obligate schools to make provision for more languages of instruction regardless of the staff capacity.
Governing Bodies will lose their power to make decisions regarding appointments and promotions.
The Head of the Education Department will obtain the power to unilaterally dissolve Governing Bodies.
School facilities maintained and improved by parents must be made available to the Department, free of charge.
Appointments will be subject to regulations and prescriptions created by the minister, aiming to promote social and economic transformation at all costs.
Affirmative action and representativeness will be at the top of the list when any appointments or promotions are considered.
Teachers will have to report in full on their own and their spouse’s finances and assets.
The redeployment of teachers in provinces will be prioritised when appointments are done by the Department.
Schools with fewer than 135 learners could be closed unilaterally.
Merging of schools can take place as commissioned by the MEC for Education and he will also determine the new name of the school.
Grants to independent schools will be subject to obligations imposed by the Minister.
State interference with appointments poses a threat to the quality of education.
The Head of Department has the final say regarding admission to schools, which will influence class sizes and the school’s language composition.
Parents will no longer be able to make the final decision regarding the school they want to their child to attend.
Overall deterioration and decay.
A loss of skilled teachers who will leave the country for greener pastures overseas.
All procurement and distribution of study material and stationery will be centralised, which will lead to corruption with tenders, study material of inferior quality and even worse – schools without textbooks.
School communities will feel alienated since they won’t be able to provide any input in schools.
“Social cohesion, transformation and equality above all” will be emphasized as the new teaching priorities. This will be more important than quality education.
PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC PARTICPATION PROCESS.
The public has until 10 November to officially comment on the amendment bill. This is a platform where any member of the public may submit their comments on the amendment bill to voice their dissatisfaction with the proposed amendments.
Submit your comments on the proposed amendments to the Schools Act:
To whom it may concern
The new amendment bill on the SA Schools Act will have a major impact on the independence of schools. Governing Bodies will lose almost all their powers with regard to pupil admissions, the school’s language policy and the appointment of teachers. The plan is to centralise education services although the education department has clearly stated that they cannot afford it. Therefore, the implementation of the amendment bill will have tragic consequences for service delivery in schools, and ultimately for the quality of education as well. I therefore request that this amendment bill be rejected. South Africa needs the input of all communities to educate our children.
I would like to submit this comment as part of the public participation process.
We’ll submit the comments to the official forum dealing with the comments, and we’ll also send it to the Minister of Basic Education and the MEC of Education in every province.
Only your name and surname will appear at the bottom of the correspondence.
Should litigation become necessary in future, Solidarity may include your comments in the court documents.
Solidarity will contact you to give feedback on the process, and to inform you of the actions we are taking with regard to this important matter.