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Minister updates MPs on progress in fixing flood-damaged schools

By [email protected] (Amanda Khoza)

The minister said admission policies should not be the determination of the school governing body alone.

“The admission policy should be determined by government laws on who goes into a school.”

Shifting to the code of conduct, Motshekga said it sometimes infringes on the rights of children.

“It infringes on their religion and their cultural practices. So it cannot be the governing body which says you cannot wear isphandla at school when we all know what isphandla means. It can’t be the governing body which decides that it does not want children to cover their heads when everybody understands what it means.”

The amendment was not aimed at making life difficult for school governing bodies, she said, adding that she was not taking powers away from the SGBs.

“What do I do with those powers as a politician? The changes to the Bela Bill were informed by what had to come between 1996 and now.”

She said the department was aware of instances where the governing bodies made the lives of schools and principals difficult.

“To be honest we have very good school governing bodies that we work very close with. Even when we were doing the Bela Bill, there was never a time when I took a step without involving the governing bodies.”

The department had closed 1,503 schools since 2021.

“Sometimes you find that a school is not viable and it makes no educational sense to keep it open and so we will support those pupils to make sure that they find spaces nearby. It’s cruel to keep an unviable school open, especially when it does not make educational sense.”

Source: TimesLIVE