Isasa wants clarification on school subsidies
Johannesburg - Clarification was needed on how some Gauteng schools were granted government subsidies - apparently without meeting prescribed criteria, the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (Isasa) said on Thursday.
"It is very concerning that it appears that a number of independent schools do not meet the [Gauteng education department's] requirements for a subsidy.... Isasa deplores this and questions how this has been allowed to happen," said executive director, Jane Hofmeyr, in a statement.
While Isasa welcomed a recent education department audit of subsidised independent schools, Hofmeyr asked how Josias Mabaso was originally able to obtain subsidies for two schools on the East Rand, in view of the criteria used to decide which schools were eligible.
Mabaso, 73, allegedly misused the education subsidies and is now facing charges in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
His arrest led to the department undertaking the audit of the subsidised schools.
The audit, however, had led to "troubling reports" that department officials had made "unreasonable demands" of some Isasa member schools during matric exams, Hofmeyr said.
"[Education department] officials have been demanding immediate proof of financial records going back several years and have been aggressively threatening to withdraw subsidies from our schools when these cannot be immediately supplied," she said.
Hofmeyr said schools should be told in advance of the paperwork required for the investigation.
The Gauteng department of education was not immediately available for comment.