ALA under examination

2016-08-30 10:10

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Advanced Learning Academy (ALA) in Athlone is under scrutiny by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) after confirming that the independent school has been ordered to cease operations.

However, the institution is still allowed to continue teaching their Grade 12 class as they have already been registered to write the National Senior Certificate exams.
Advanced Learning Academy may continue to run as a tutor centre in the future. “Tutor centres/support centres may not provide teaching and learning to a group of learners covering a full curriculum from Monday to Friday. If they do, they are functioning as a school and should register as an independent school,” a WCED statement reads.

According to a WCED spokesperson, Paddy Atwell, the department registered the institution provisionally as an independent school in January 2013 in an effort to give owner Gasiena Moosa an opportunity to fully comply with registration requirements. The school did not have a certificate at the time as their premises did not meet municipal requirements. “The school subsequently moved and told the department they would submit a municipal certificate after completing renovations. The school submitted a lease agreement and a rezoning certificate for the new premises, but not the required municipal report,” says Atwell.

He confirms that the WCED gave the school until 17 December last year to indicate why the department should not withdraw their registration, and then extended the deadline to 21 February.

“The school asked for another extension. The department then learned that the school had moved again, among other complaints. The WCED told the school on 7 April that its registration would lapse from 1 May and that it should help learners to find alternative places,” concludes Atwell.

However, an anonymous source close to the school confirms that the school is still operating despite the order and alleges that Moosa has also taken on more learners.

A former teacher at the school, Nicky van Driel, has also come forward and says she was offered a job at the school at the beginning of June, only to discover that the staff had not been paid for previous months. She has since left the institution. “I am deeply concerned about the well-being of the learners. Their future hangs in the balance – all due to the greed (of one person). I can obtain another teaching post, but these learners still have to complete matric and their academic year has now been severely affected,” she says.

Van Driel, already a decorated academic in the field of education, says Moosa seemed to dismiss her concerns when she confronted her about it. “I don’t want other people to be fooled by her, but I want the parents to know. She does not seem to understand the implications of her actions. She should be ceasing her operations,” adds Van Driel.

People’s Post tried to contact Moosa on numerous occasions for comment. Moosa requested People’s Post contact the school’s legal team, but upon request of their contact details, no reply was given.

The WCED’s investigation into the school’s activities is ongoing.

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