‘Disparities caused by underfunding black schools during apartheid remain’ – SCA Judge

‘Disparities caused by underfunding black schools during apartheid remain’ – SCA Judge

A judgment giving the Gauteng education department the final say in determining school admissions policy is a “victory for transformation”, its MEC said on Saturday.

“I am of the firm belief that we have one education system and this system must be accessible to all,” said Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

On Friday the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that School Governing Bodies do not have absolute authority over the controversial feeder zones in the province nor the final word on whether a school can turn a child away.

But the Federation of School Governing Bodies of SA (Fedsas) is considering going to the Constitutional Court over the judgment which it believes interferes with its powers.

“We must protect exisiting learners from overcrowding,” Fedsas CEO Paul Colditz told News24.

He said that because most government schools are failing, schools with active communities and school governing bodies are highly sought after.

Parents from other communities are trying to get their children into these schools, regardless of whether they live in the traditional feeder areas or not. But, many schools say they are too full to take the extra children and this leads to complaints to the education department about exclusion.

Regulations established a system of feeder zones for schools in the province in which children could attend a school within a five km radius of their parents’ work or home and gave the MEC the powers to declare whether a school was full. Fedsas had challenged this.

Judge Nambithi Dambuza said schools have to provide a basic education for everybody and it well known that disparities cause by underfunding black schools during apartheid remain.

She said in terms of the law, school governing bodies’ admissions policy is not absolute, and that the education department exercises ultimate control.

Source – News24

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