The outcry against the proposed amendments to the South African Schools Act is like a regrouping of those who would like to exclusively keep education benefits to themselves.
This is the view of Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi‚ who was speaking on Monday following an uproar over the Basic Laws Amendment Bill‚ which was published by the Department of Basic Education last month.
Friday was the deadline for the public to make submissions on the Bill.
The proposed amendments to the South African Schools Act‚ if enacted‚ will severely weaken school governing bodies (SGBs)‚ with parents having less say on teacher appointments‚ school language policies and student admissions.
A number of organisations have expressed concerns about the proposed amendments.
The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools‚ which represents about 2‚100 governing bodies‚ said the governing bodies were not a problem.
“It is quite clear that those who continue to benefit from remnants of segregation and colonialism to the exclusion of the majority of our people are hell-bent to put up a fierce fight to close out our people in accessing quality education‚” Lesufi said.
Lesufi said he was startled by those who were opposing the review of powers of school governing bodies.
“Our people have raised serious concerns on the conduct of some SGBs especially on the appointment of senior managers of schools as well as the management of school finances‚” Lesufi said.
He said the leadership in the basic education sector was disturbed with the fact that in the majority of former model C schools‚ about 80% or more of the learner population was black while the teaching staffs remained white.
“SGBs and some School Management Teams misappropriate public resources and charge sky-scraping school fees to impede access to quality education‚ hence these amendments‚” Lesufi said.
by Ernest Mabuza – TimesLIVE