A warning from the Department of Basic Education was announced by the minister Mrs Angie Motshekga that all South African parents withholding their children from attending Grade R could face up to 12 months imprisonment which is part of the amendment bill made to the Schools’ Act.
The new Amendment Bill of Basic Education clearly states that school attendance is mandatory from Grade R and no longer from Grade 1, reason being numerous lessons in Grade R were created in preparation for Grade 1. ‘‘If a child is not at school for a period of three days the principal has the responsibility to be interact with the parents within 24 hours to discover what is happening to that learner’’, said Hendrik Makenete the education activist. Amongst other proposals, the bill aims to ensure that the governing bodies guard in relation to unfair discrimination in terms of respect in official languages that are offered as subject options, initiation and corporal punishment, conditions under which alcohol might be found on the school premises, and the code of conduct for schools.
According to Education expert, Professor Mary Metcalf of Wits University welcomed the bill, but she said that it is not adequate to tackle the issue of dropout rates in schools, because she believes that learners become disengaged at school. The bottom-line is that building a foundation in terms of school is a good thing, therefore the Department wants children to engage at school from a young age to make it simpler for them to apply basics in the future in the upcoming grades.
#MCMs with Val