Now, more no fee schools in KZN

2011-01-12 00:00

WITH schools opening for a new academic year next Wednesday, parents who can’t afford to pay school fees will be pleased to know that the number of no fee schools in the province has increased significantly.

In fact, the KZN Department of Education plans to publish a list of all the no fee schools in the province in newspapers so the process of identifying these schools is made easier for parents.

Department spokesperson, Mbali Thusi said the number of no fee schools in the province is up from 3 513 last year to 4 739 this year. This is an increase of 1 226 schools that will now benefit under the no fee policy.

“The department has an unambiguous policy on how admission of learners should be administered. The policy begins from the premise that every child has a right to be admitted to any public school and to participate in all school activities,” said Thusi.

Thusi said parents can apply for total, partial or conditional exemption to the school governing body (SGB), if they are unable to pay school fees.

However, she added that the criteria used for this exemption is the decision of the SGB of each school as well as the parents of that school.

“That is why we always stress the importance of parents to be part and to attend meetings at all times as these critical decisions are made at the parents’ meetings. School fees may be charged at public schools only if a resolution to do so has been adopted by a majority of parents attending the meeting,” added Thusi.

However, the SGB has the legal right to compel payment from those parents who can afford to pay.

Thusi advised that if parents encounter financial problems during the school year, they must inform the school principal and the SGB well in advance so that an amicable solution can be sought.

MEC Senzo Mchunu has said that teaching and learning will begin immediately when schools open next week since a 99,9% delivery for the 2011 school year has been reached.

“The department managed to deliver 99,8% of textbooks and stationary for 2011 to 99.9% of all non-section 21 schools before they even closed for the 2010 December holiday. This would ensure that the 2011 school year begins in earnest and teaching and learning starts from day one,” Mchunu said.

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