News24

School to appeal admissions ruling

2011-12-12 22:39

Johannesburg - A Sandton, Johannesburg school which lost a court case over its powers to admit pupils is to appeal against the ruling, its lawyer Paul Lategan said on Monday.

"We are definitely going to appeal," he said, giving no further details.

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruling has implications for former Model C schools in Gauteng.

It ruled that school governing bodies (SGBs) in Gauteng did not have the unqualified power to determine admission policy at state-run schools. Judge Boissie Mbha found on December 7 that the provincial education department had the final say.

The school, Rivonia Primary, and its SGB took the Gauteng education department to court after it intervened when a child was refused entry to the predominantly-white school, which has the lowest class numbers in its area.

The school said it had reached its capacity.

The court ruled it was up to the department, not an SGB, to determine the maximum capacity of a public school.

The education MEC should be the ultimate arbiter.

"In my view, providing a basic education across race and class requires government intervention in the preliminary power of SGBs to determine admission policies," the judge said.

"Leaving schools to determine their admission policy, including the power to determine their capacity... one unwittingly creates space privileged schools can use and manipulate that power to fortify rather than dismantle existing inequalities," Mbha said.

Comments
  • Andrew - 2011-12-13 06:36

    Please explain how this is a 'state run' school as my understanding is most funding is provided by parents either by their tax rands or school fess paid annually. While school buildings may be the property of government maintenance and upgrading is done by parents. Therefore any school that is funded in this manner should have the right to make policy decisions affecting their community.

      Veroh-richie Juno Ravel - 2011-12-13 07:18

      All pubic school they receive fortune of money(subsidy) from the government,actually every quarter of the year....and they get more than independent schools and again they don't even have to use their school fees to pay the school staff neither subsidy money......So yah department of education have every rights to intervene

      Veroh-richie Juno Ravel - 2011-12-13 07:18

      All pubic school they receive fortune of money(subsidy) from the government,actually every quarter of the year....and they get more than independent schools and again they don't even have to use their school fees to pay the school staff neither subsidy money......So yah department of education have every rights to intervene

      Andrew - 2011-12-13 07:27

      And just where does this fortune of money come from ? Is it not tax payer rands ??

      Colleen - 2011-12-13 08:27

      Just to clarify, this school does not receive a fortune of money as Veroh-richie would like to believe, the money received from the government does not cover the toilet paper, but the government will not relinquish control of the school. The parent body funds the school. Further, the admissions policy for the school was ratified by the Department of Education, 2 months before this incident, which means that they had agreed to this admissions policy, so the school was not simply making their own policies and procedures. The race card has once again been played, but the school is attended and run by teachers, students and parents of all races. Many underprivileged children from the area around the school are subsidised by the school, not the Department of Education.

      Andrew - 2011-12-13 09:37

      @ Atheitis, democracy includes a right to choose. Collen has clarified how the fortune is spent and they more than likely have to justify the funding they receive. Talking of accountability how about the monies used by government departments which runs into billions and not accounted for ? It not about like or dislike it is about fairness to all.

  • Veroh-richie Juno Ravel - 2011-12-13 07:13

    All pubic school they get fortune of money(subsidy) from the government,actually every quarter of the year....and they get more than independent schools gt because they don't even have to use their school fees to pay the school staff neither subsidy money......So yah department of education have every rights to intervene.

      Andrew - 2011-12-13 07:30

      You must be living in lala land as where my grandchildren attend school the are continually having to hold events to raise funds.

      Mike - 2011-12-13 08:30

      Are you on the governing body of your children’s school? And do you understand the finances of these schools. The school I am involved with pays the salaries of +- 60% of the teachers and subsidise the salaries of the government paid teachers to insure that we keep a high quality of education. The governing body has also paid for the construction of additional classrooms and other facilities. So if the GED want to have 40 kids per class they must to the calculation based on the number of teachers they pay for. With 40 kid in a class it is not the bright kids that will suffer.

      Deon - 2011-12-13 09:29

      For some people R900 per child per year is a fortune. This is what schools get in the Eastern Cape, probably the same in other provinces?

  • Veroh-richie Juno Ravel - 2011-12-13 07:14

    All pubic school they get fortune of money(subsidy) from the government,actually every quarter of the year....and they get more than independent schools gt because they don't even have to use their school fees to pay the school staff neither subsidy money......So yah department of education have every rights to intervene.

      Mike - 2011-12-13 08:31

      Are you on the governing body of your children’s school? And do you understand the finances of these schools. The school I am involved with pays the salaries of +- 60% of the teachers and subsidise the salaries of the government paid teachers to insure that we keep a high quality of education. The governing body has also paid for the construction of additional classrooms and other facilities. So if the GED want to have 40 kids per class they must to the calculation based on the number of teachers they pay for. With 40 kid in a class it is not the bright kids that will suffer.

      lindaawhelan - 2011-12-13 09:21

      You are very mistaken. Former Model C schools get very little from the government and certainly not enough to ensure that all of the students receive a quality education. The balance comes from the fees charged and fund-raising. For every non fee paying child at a former Model C (and there are lots), the fee paying parents and NOT the government subsidises them. Most are quite happy to do that, knowing that they are making a difference to children who would otherwise be left to the mercy of overcrowded classrooms and under qualified, lazy teachers. If the department continues meddling, the fee paying parents will jump ship to private education and the former Model C's will become dysfunctional like the other public schools. Be careful what you wish for.

      margaret.mead1 - 2011-12-13 09:51

      You don't know what you're talking about.

      logical007 - 2011-12-13 14:11

      @Veroh-richie Juno Ravel Stop copying and pasting your DRIVVEL..../NONSENSE/ absolute rubbish!

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-12-13 07:27

    How can ANYBODY justify denying a child access to basic education? If parents want their kids to have a privilege education based on small classes and individual attention - then send them to Private School. Otherwise follow the rules of the education board! In our school the classes were increased and the parents came together and paid OUT OF OUR OWN POCKETS for additional teachers. That is the type of thing you do to ensure your child gets a fair education - WITHOUT DENYING ANOTHER CHILD THE SAME RIGHT! Its time that people stop bitching and moaning and realise that we are living in a country where people are dying of hunger and living in shacks with NO prospects to ever live a better life because of a lack of education! The decent and moral thing to do is to educate so that the next generation can pull itself up and away from the poverty quagmire.... So stop breeding little state dependent mutants - educate your children to become entrepreneurs - otherwise you are all guilty of adding to the sh*t this country finds itself in! And postulate all you buggers want - education was for the priviledged few during apartheid and now those priviledged few are paying the price! So excuses will only show your total lack of commitment to this country! ARgh - why do I bother....

      chillepeppa - 2011-12-13 08:18

      Well said...

  • Andy - 2011-12-13 07:36

    The issue here is that the state has not spent any money building new schools in Gauteng. Therefore they last year increased the minimum number of pupils per clss to 40. Thats insane and so some of the public schools (the ones that are prepared to stand up for the eductaional rights of their pupils) have tried to oppose this or simply disobey the ruling. The department of education should be ashamed.

  • marli.v.vuuren - 2011-12-13 08:17

    I have taught at a number of school where the department forced the schools to take in more kids with lots of promises to build more prefab classrooms and send more teachers... all empty promises! I actually had to teach kids in an old store room while other teachers were teaching on the hall stage and also backstage. What used to be a good education has now become teachers trying to control 35-45 kids to try and teach them just the basics. That's why schools have the right to say NO. I'd rather have 700 well educated kids (of all races and cultures) that 1200+ semi-educated kids ...

  • monica.bartlett1 - 2011-12-13 08:22

    Veroh-richie you are wrong about the Department funding schools. We get 12 of our 21 staff paid by Dept. We receive under R60,000 per year from Dept. Our electricity alone is R22000 per month. How do you think we manage without fees? We are allowed 1 caretaker - the rest have to be paid by GovBody. We are allowed 1 secretary - the GovBody employs another.

  • odupreez - 2011-12-13 08:27

    Exactly how many schools have been built since 1994 in the Gauteng, and especially the Vaal Triangle area, where every Afrikaans High Scool now has to provide for and additional class of 35 from next year onwards ?, The schools should already have been built and been ready for the masses that need education, instead of straining a working school to provide extra classes and become dual-medium (extra teachers - who is going to pay for them ? - what about class changes form subject to subject ?), has the department of education thought this through - or is this like every thing else no forward planning, no maintenance, no idea, not a clue and could not give a fig about the consequences.

  • Terrence - 2011-12-13 08:35

    Firstly who said anything about the child that was not allowed to attend not being able to have his/her school fees paid. The article talks about "reached capacity" and "predominantly white". So obviously when the SGB has the final say in determining who can and cannot be accepted this is open to abuse by bigots not unlike Kevin who believe blacks "destroy" everything. As for predominantly white , I guess Rivonia is a predominantly white suburb so I am sure they could explain it away based on the demographics of the suburb. I've often wondered what happened to all the racists in this country post 1994 and it appears they all haven't moved to Australia or some other place. Apparently some off them are still right here amongst us, I guess most of them have the presence of mind not to be blatant racists though unlike Kevin.

      pws69 - 2011-12-13 09:20

      I personally know of Rivonia racially profiling. Two sets of parents applied, one black and one white. The white parents applied weeks after the black parents, yet the white child was accepted, and the black one was not. This has been going on for a long time, and word is that GP DoE had spent more than a year watching Rivonia before acting, because of this unscrupulous behaviour. What gets my goat is that this isolated incident has repercussions for ALL Quintile 3/4/5 schools, and not just Rivonia. The Department has been itching to remove the powers of the SGBs for years now (part of the ANC's centralisation of power strategy) and Rivonia gave them the ammunition to do just that, even after many Principals in the area warned Rivonia that what they were doing was illegal and would have implications. The arrogance of the Rivonia principal and SGB has done untold damage.

      Elle-Black - 2011-12-13 15:42

      @ pws69 I could not have said it better myself, I have had the same experience with a different school, I live 15 minutes away from the school and was told that i was outside their feeder zone,yet after I my child was declined they took in a white child who lives 40 minutes away from the school,the decision by the judge is a well informed one

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-13 08:37

    its the govt policy that classes should be no more than 30-40 kids. The system of teaching the ed dept has chosen is only recommended for classes of 25 or less otherwise individuals do not receive the one on one attention they need. With the amount of admin the govt has the teachers do for each pupil in addition to the requirements of the school reports and paper trail itself classes bigger than 30-35 are nearly unmanageable. Add to the equation the fact that under govt law it is nearly impossible to discipline a child without getting a lawsuit, you can't expel/suspend or send them out of the class. You obviously can't hit them, nor shout at them. Education in this country is a farce.

      TheWatcher - 2011-12-13 08:38

      you can give them detention but what do you do if they don't bother to come?

  • pws69 - 2011-12-13 08:52

    Rivonia has done SGBs everywhere no favours with their very shortsighted and elitist attitude. You cannot behave like a private school, whilst accepting massive government funding. The balance of power has now shifted in favour of a massively incompetence DoE. Well run schools with competent SGBs will now suffer. The criteria for maximum class size must be determined by OHS (occupational health and safety). Not the department (who will cram classes), and not the SGB. That is fair and equitable. In SA 1,6m2 is recommended per student (1,4m2 or less actual). Even at 1,4m2 per student, less than 20% of schools could accomodate 40 pupils, which is the departments recommended number of students per class. See the problem with the departments methods? Hopefully someone from the Rivonia legal team reads this, and uses it to minimise the damage that Rivonia has done to all SGBs.

  • pws69 - 2011-12-13 08:58

    "Leaving schools to determine their admission policy, including the power to determine their capacity... one unwittingly creates space privileged schools can use and manipulate that power to fortify rather than dismantle existing inequalities," Mbha said. _______________________________________________________________________ The Judges reasoning here completely fails to take into account the fact that GOVERNMENT controls these inequalities. If the ANC did not buckle every time SADTU tells them to, we would have equitable schools across the board. If R4,8 BILLION did not disappear in just the EC DoE, and was actually spent on schools, e would have equitable schools across the board. The judge completely fails to see that Rivonia is but a symptom, and not the cause of this massive inequality. We have hundreds of empty township schools but long waiting lists at former model c schools. Why? because of quality education. Do a little exercise. Check which is the predominant union in these well run schools. NAPTOSA, and not SADTU. You cannot just deal with the symptoms, you need to deal with the cause. I battle to use the words learned and judge in the same sentence when I read this judges comment.

  • Khanya.McCutha - 2011-12-13 09:44

    Dammmnnn! These whites don`t give u p hey

      Senzo Mathebula - 2011-12-13 11:26

      The fight against inequalities is far from over. Sometimes I feel like a full scale civil war would have done a better job than Codesa

  • margaret.mead1 - 2011-12-13 09:50

    This school mainly relies on private funding. Now the state wants to take ownership. It is ludicrous. Where is the funding from government? It is merely a trickle! Why try and fix something that isn't broke? Why try and mess up something that is working so well? There are many other schools that need practical government intervention.

      Elle-Black - 2011-12-13 15:36

      Trust me Margaret this is quite practical,if they dont want government interrferance then they should turn it into a private school

  • thelittlegreenhouse - 2011-12-13 10:59

    Home Education for the Win! Greatly reduced political revolutionary interference, and the most healthy and flexible class sizes determined directly by parents :-)

  • Elle-Black - 2011-12-13 13:46

    I agree with the judge,most predominantly white schools use that excuse to say they have reached their capacity when in actual fact they are trying to say the 3 out of 300 black kids we have in this school is already too much

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