What can I do if I was exempted from paying full school fees but don’t have enough money to pay the outstanding amount?

The short answer You can approach the School Governing Body and negotiate a revised repayment plan. The whole question Dear Athalie I am a single parent under debt review. I applied for school fee exemption last year because I was unable to pay the required amount every month. I told them I would pay the school fees in December after I got my annual...

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Literacy crisis deepening in South Africa, says new report

Children are far behind in learning to read and it is getting worse By James Stent Basic literacy among children in South Africa has declined, a new report from the 2030 Reading Panel has found. Most children leave grade one without knowing the alphabet, while 82% of grade 4 children cannot read for meaning. Only the Western Cape and Gauteng are...

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Are no-fee schools allowed to charge extra costs?

The short answer "Voluntary donations" at no-fee schools are encouraged but not compulsory. The whole question Dear Athalie My child's school is charging R300 per learner for the security of the school. This is a no-fee school. Are they allowed to charge us for this? The long answer The South African Schools Act states that no public school in any quintile may charge any registration,...

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NGOs warn latest budget will have bad outcomes for education

Equal Education say underfunding will cause even more overcrowded classrooms, teacher shortages and learners going without meals By Marecia Damons Equal Education and SECTION27 say although the national budget increased funds for basic education, in real terms spending per learner is decreasing. Of major concern are cuts in funding for teachers, which will lead to shortages and even more overcrowded classrooms. ...

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Helping immigrant children get into schools

The Scalabrini Centre’s #access4EVERYchild campaign is assisting families By Tariro Washinyira A Zimbabwean woman, who prefers to stay anonymous, says she had been struggling since last year to get her child into school. She went to every school in Parow, but all refused to enrol her child for grade one. As a result, the child spent a year at home. The child...

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Court decision is major victory for Eastern Cape learners

Makhanda High Court declares new school admission policy unconstitutional By Geoffrey Allsop Eastern Cape children who were prevented from attending school because they do not have identity documents won an important victory in the Makhanda High Court in December. Read the judgment In 2016, the Eastern Cape Basic Education Department introduced a new admission policy which said public schools would only receive funding for...

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Immigrant child barred from school for lack of documents

School’s action directly contradicts instructions of ministers of Home Affairs and of Basic Education By Tariro Washinyira An immigrant child has been out of school for a year after Bodibe Intermediate Public School near Mahikeng refused to enrol him because he lacks documents. The parents received a letter from the school on 8 January stating: “This communique serves to confirm that the school...

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The right to read

The Copyright Amendment Bill gives those with disabilities greater access to copyrighted material while supporting education and creators. But it is yet to be signed into law and not everyone is behind it. By Linda Daniels Leading copyright law experts and disability rights activists are advocating for President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign the Copyright Amendment Bill into law. They say the...

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Undocumented children are entitled to basic education

Advocates for learners without birth certificates who have been barred from schools argue that the state is punishing them for circumstances beyond their control. By Tania Broughton The voices of 37 children barred from school because they have no birth certificates will be heard at the Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda this week when they argue, on behalf of themselves...

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Community wins 20 year battle for school

Case goes to the heart of the fundamental rights of access to basic education guaranteed by the Constitution, says judge By Tania Broughton They have been fighting a battle for 20 years, but now there is an end in sight for a rural community in KwaZulu-Natal who have obtained a supervisory court order forcing education authorities to finally build them a secondary...

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