Image: Brand South Africa
It has become a norm for public schools Principals to withhold the progress reports of learners, not registering learners for new academic year and some cases leaners are not receiving stationery provided by the State. All these happen to learners whose parents are unable to pay the so-called “School Fees”.
These scourge I became of because it’s most and well-practiced by schools in Kwa Mashu which is under Pinetown District and Umlazi which is under Umlazi District. Beginning of 2019 we intervened as BLF members where three schools in Kwa Mashu had withhold learners progress reports, other were refusing to register learners for new academic year and also grade 12 learners were not given the stationery. In our intervention we contacted the office of MEC for education to intervene. Again towards the end of 2019 one had received complaints that learners went to December holidays without their progress reports.
WHAT DOES THE SCHOOLS ACT PROVIDE?
The South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996) as amended [SASA] provide that the
Responsibility of the state
S(34)(1) I quote, “ The state must fund public schools form public revenue on an equitable basis in order to ensure the proper exercise of the rights of learners to education and the redress of past inequalities in education provisions.” S(34)(2) I quote, “ The state must, on annual basis, provide sufficient information to public schools regarding the funding referred to in subsection(1) to enable schools to enable public schools to prepare their budget for the next financial year.” S(35) I quote, “ Subject to the Constitution and this Act, the Minister must determine norm and standards for the funding of public schools after consultation with the Council of Education Ministers, the Financial and Fiscal Commission and the Minister of Finance.”
DOES MINISTER OF BASIC EDUCATION GIVE EFFECT TO THE ABOVE PROVISIONS?
Public schools are grouped in five  quintiles namely quintile 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, the criteria used by the state to group the schools is the discussion for other day. The Minister of Basic Education gazette the ministerial determination for Medium Term Expenditure Framework [MTEF], where schools in quintile 1, 2 and 3 receive big equal funding as they are regarded as the schools serving the poorest communities and quintile 4 and 5 receive lesser funding as they are regarded as an affording communities.
In MTEF commenced in 2016, schools in quintile 1, 2 and 3 in 2017 financial year were receiving R900 per learner, schools in quintile 4 were receiving R700 per learner and those in quintile 5 were receiving R150 per learner. The state declare all schools in quintiles 1 to 3 “No Fee Schools”. Even the schools in quintiles 4 and 5 has no authority to withhold learners progress reports as the SASA makes provision of how to deal with parents who are unable to pay S(40)(1 -3).
WHAT TO BE DONE
1. BLF members in their respective Wards must call on all community members who affected by this evil practice to come forward with concrete evidence, hold meeting and explain to them their right which is in line with our Battle Plan.
2. In that, BLF members must demand the District Manager to come and listen to community members about the infringement of their right and demand solution and action to be taken. If possible they must
engage the MEC for education in that Province.
3. To do this they must use the Community Radio stations and any other means available to them.
4. In KZN we shall commence with the program on Monday the 6th of January 2020.
SOLVING PROBLEM OF OUR COMMUNITIES
1. There is no one clearly defined strategy to Black communities in the fold of Black First Land First rather than putting our Battle Plan into action and taking out our Black people from ignorance of the truth.
2. Correctly so BLF has declared the current S. A. Constitution being not pro-black nevertheless we must use it’s certain section to favor our two pillars Black First and Land First. S(28)(2) of the South African Constitution Act 1996, (Act No. 108 of 1996) provide that;
I quote, (A child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the”
Unquote, the future of the child is destroyed by refusing a child a right to learn.
3. There is case law which declare that any misconduct committed by an employee which violates the above subsection is a dismissible misconduct.
In conclusion let’s make 2020 the year of putting our Battle Plan into action to achieve the target we set for our recruitment program.
DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL
DATE: 4 JANUARY 2020