Section27: School case crucial

2013-05-08 17:12

Johannesburg - The court case between the Gauteng education department and Rivonia Primary School over admission policies is crucial for access to education, Section27 said on Wednesday.

"The Constitutional Court's decision in the case is a crucial one for the future of access to equal education in South Africa," spokesperson Nikki Stein said.

The Constitutional Court is scheduled to hear the case on Thursday. It involves the admission policy of a former model C school, Rivonia Primary, in Johannesburg.

According to Section27, the school refused to admit a Grade 1 pupil in 2011, saying it had no capacity.

The department intervened and instructed the school governing body (SGB) to override its policy and admit the pupil.

The dispute between the department and the school is around which of them has the final say in determining a school's capacity.

The case would determine who had the final say about how many children were admitted to a school, in what language they would be taught, and who would be excluded from a school on the basis of an SGB's admission and language policies, said Stein.

Also awaiting the outcome of the case were residents of Fochville, on the West Rand.

Stein said Section27 was representing 54 parents against the SGB of Hoƫrskool Fochville, a public school that adopted an Afrikaans language policy which excluded English-speaking pupils.

"Hundreds of learners from Fochville and nearby Kokosi township travel 25km to attend English medium schools," she said.

Fochville SGB's refusal to become a dual medium school is said to discriminate against pupils on the grounds of their race.

The Fochville case would be heard in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

  • pws69 - 2013-05-08 17:34

    Section 27 is wrong, and the blatantly leave out the complexities around this case. I'll put it in a nutshell, until the department pays for all of the additional classrooms, and the additional teachers, which the parents currently pay for, Section 27 can shut the F#$K up. Until schools fees in a government school become tax deductible, Section 27 can shut the F#$K up. Until the Department of Education becomes efficient, and actually builds the required schools, Section 27 can shut the F#$K up.

      Bryan Culross - 2013-05-08 18:14

      You totally correct. The way I understand things is something like this: The school has 48 children in a class. The parents contribute additional amounts through fees and fund raising so that additional classrooms, etc can be built and extra teachers employed so as to reduce the class size to around (say) 30. The GDE then instructs the school to use the additional capacity to accomomdate more pupils, with the end result being that the class size increases back to 48. This would obviously deter parents from paying (higher) fees and putting their efforts into fundraising. The gov has the responsibility of building schools and providing teachers and shouldn't, in a back handed way, pass this onto (fee paying) parents.

      Henry Kruger - 2013-05-08 18:56

      I am sending my kids to school where the school fund additional teachers in order to maintain a classroom ratio to ensure that quality education is provided. Should this case go forward then the public schools will become a farce. Why do we need to bring everything down to the lowest denominator?

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 19:01

      Bryan, the Department, also conveniently ignore all health and safety laws when it comes to schools. Laws like the maximum number of people per sq metre, like the maximum number of people per ablutions, etc. I also wonder why Section 27 were so quiet about the 17 schools closed down in Soweto alone last year, and the over 2,700 schools closed in the last decade by the ANC government. This is about bringing ALL schools to the lowest common denominator. The ANC know full well that they are incapable, and unwilling, to work towards a higher standard across the board, and they take a pounding from their voters because the "white" (no such thing anymore) schools are so much better, and it is unfair yadda, yadda, so their response is to F45k the good schools up completely, as politically it suits them. Another factor that no one seems to realize, and which is very pertinent. You can attend a quintile 4/5 school and NOT pay any fees, if you can prove you cannot afford it. It is the law. The moment a quintile 4/5 school has more than 25% no fee paying students, it starts to degrade rapidly. The department, by forcing this issue (part of which is the Department decides WHO can go to a school, and not just how many) is to load these schools with as many non fee paying students are possible. Hence the massive increase in private education.

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 19:11

      Henry, well resourced and well run quintile 4/5 schools are already rapidly declining in numbers. So much so that the Department have raised it as a risk. At this point in time they are refusing to downgrade schools to Quintile 2/3 even though the feeder area demographic dictates that they should. Why? They refuse to spend the money. So, you have a handful of parents, quite often as low as 20% of them, subsidising the rest. If it looks like a tax, quacks like a tax, and smells like a tax, it IS a tax. It shocks me how many people don't see this. I give it at most another 5 years, and there will only be a handful left of decent government schools. Even quicker if Angie gets her way and changes the law.

  • Werner Nel - 2013-05-08 17:41

    More than 25 children in a class makes for lower standards, but then again, the ANC thinks 30% is a good pass mark.

      Jaap van Rensburg - 2013-05-08 19:01

      Werner, you don't understand it's part of the DDP: "Demolishing and destruction Program"

      SaintBruce Bruce - 2013-05-08 23:06

      Hey guys , ever considered that there is a LAW covering the maximum capacity of a place of learning? The Building Standards and regulations are referenced in many different laws and this makes these codes law as well. Now a learning institution - in my copy of the building regulations SANS 0400, classifies a learning institution classroom as class A3 - capacity is calculated at 1 person per 5 square metres. A person is a person and a child is a person. So 48 children in a classroom and one teacher means that Fire Safety rules must have a classroom of 245 Square Metres in size or about 15 x 17 metres. It's a long time since I was last in a classroom but those who know what that size looks like [ bigger than most 3 bedroom suburban homes in area] can tell me if the school classrooms meet fire safety requirements or not? If not, then who thinks they have the right to endanger children just because they are physically smaller ? Plus we should not forget that most 17 and 18 year olds are almost at full adult "person" size. I believe the Fire Department and their Fire Prevention Officers should assess a school against building codes and safety evacuation criteria. No Government Department or School Governing body should be able to override that safety assessment. Section 27 - you are missing a crucial point here.

  • Raoul Loggenberg - 2013-05-08 17:44

    Amaru Shakur: I don't send my kids to your Zulu, Xhosa etc schools and insist on Afrikaans or English being the medium of education. If you really want to see a RACIST go and look in the mirror.

      Amaru Shakur - 2013-05-08 18:22

      Public schools in townships their 1st language is english

      Henry Kruger - 2013-05-08 18:58

      Amus, if I may ask do you contribute anything in monetary terms to your kids school. Or is that only for "racists" as you so distinctly state?

      Leora Lipka - 2013-05-08 19:05

      @shakur, then why aren't schools in townships in one of the other 11 official languages. The government has always harped on the point of children - especially- primary school being taught in their mother tongue. Why should schools that have established themselves in one or another language be forced to take a child who will not accept being instructed in that language?

      Ami Mzazi - 2013-05-08 19:22

      Raoul it's not your school but the government's which means my tax also contributes, and because of our sickening history, so called former model C schools are better equiped which is why people choose them. Thinking before you speak doesn't hurt, you should try it sometime meneer.

      Amaru Shakur - 2013-05-08 21:36

      Tell them Ami.They think that we are all inferior

      Regte Boer - 2013-05-09 07:38

      Ami the schools are better equiped because the parents buy the equipment you idiot. In your schools they seal the equipment the DoE provides. Former model C schools get a lot less subsidy from DoE. Go check your fact you racist fool.

  • robespear - 2013-05-08 17:52

    What everyone ignores is that the model C schools are the best run government schools because of the additional fees paid by parents. Marginalise the parents decision making in the school and they vote with their feet to a private school rendering the model C school a basket case. Sandringham High is a prime example.

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 18:48

      Note that Sandringham high was so screwed, it only had R11000 in its bank account, and paid the SGB teachers with IOUs. I was an SBG Chair the last two years. You cannot believe what goes on in the Department. This year all three of my kids are in a private school. 6 times more expensive, but worth every cent, and the pain we have to take financially.

      Anthony Michael - 2013-05-08 19:25

      PWB69 FIGURES talk a lot louder than WORDS!! "In 1970, after 22 years of apartheid education, the government spending pattern on education was as follows: For every R1 spent on the education of each African child between the ages of 5 and 19, the government spent R31.60 for each White child in the same age group" "An analysis of the 1970 census reveals that an estimated 48% of Africans over the age of 15 were illiterate in terms of the United Nations" ""In 1978, 65% of the education budget was spent on white learners who accounted for 14 % of the learners in the country"" ""Black learners made up 70 percent of the student body, and were allocated 16 percent of the education budget"" """In effect, a white learner was allocated 5 times more than a black learner""" """"At the same time, almost 40 percent of teachers that taught at White schools had university degrees"""" """"WHILE 80 PERCENT OF TEACHERS AT BLACK SCHOOLS, DID NOT POSSES A MATRIC CERTIFICATE """" In 1986, """per capita subsidies for white learners were R2, 365 compared with R572 for black children in the Department of Education and Training Schools""" """It was even lower in the homelands with KwaZulu-Natal the lowest at R262 per child""" In 1993, """""at the cusp of change from apartheid to democracy, the education spending breakdown was as follows: Black: R1,659, Coloured: R2, 902,Indian R3,702, White R4,372--"""""

      Mathata Fela - 2013-05-08 19:50

      Hi Anthony Michael, we are still waiting for you in Diepsloot. It is not the other population groups' fault that the black population is breeding like flies....

      Mfaniseni Thusi - 2013-05-08 21:47

      @Anthony - thanks for exposing hidden information. You hit the nail on the head, as I always say when you tell it like it is the DAsh supporters can't take it. It reminds me of the Americans who kept on denying defeat in Vietnam.

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 22:06

      Anthony, In 1994 the ANC KNEW what was required to raise the standard of education. What they did was to get rid of 120,000 of THE MOST QUALIFIED teachers, especially in math and science between 1996 and 1998, and at the same time they CLOSED 127 TEACHER TRAINING colleges. SO you see, numbers don't lie. The ACTIONS of the ANC RETARDED both TEACHER TRAINING and STUDENT education levels MASSIVELY. So, while your facts might give your mentally retarded, living in the past, supporters a little chubby, they don't actually say or do ANYTHING to resolve the current situation, do they? They don't even give a hint as to what must be done. In fact, other than stirring up a little racial hatred, they are pointless, just like you.

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 23:33

      @Anthony, Note: This is in 2013 and NOT 1980. I can't wait to read your "It's Apartheids fault" excuses. It should be most entertaining.

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 23:47

      Anthony, do you actually believe your own BS? It simple astounds me that you make a factually false statement, then think everyone will believe it just because you said it. Laughable.

  • Mfaniseni Thusi - 2013-05-08 17:57

    Typical SA what's new?

  • bcluley - 2013-05-08 18:16

    watch the cANCer blow this out of proportion to get votes to rob the poor!

  • Graeme de Villiers - 2013-05-08 18:26

    The very worst part about this case is that the parent who caused the entire stink in the first place, who still has her daughter in the school, STILL tries her level best to cause drama and trouble for the school every couple of weeks, with accusations of racism and 'unfair' treatment of her. Not her child, of HER! So she didn't go through the registration process like the rest of the parents, she demanded that her daughter be admitted on the first day of school, was told NO, then contacted her friends in high places with conveniuent political connections. The rest is history. Let's hope good judgement prevails and Rivonia Primary comes through this one unscathed. It boggles my mind how she keeps her child there and yet does her best to sabotage the school and staff as regularly as she does.

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 18:51

      Graeme, the speed with which papers were served on Rivonia indicate this was a set up from the get go. Papers which normally take weeks to prepare were served in a few days. I have heard a lot of what happened with this case that the newspapers are not even aware of.

  • Menase Lehipi - 2013-05-08 18:35


  • Glenn Adriaanse - 2013-05-08 18:43

    Mr Shakur what about Islamic / Catholic schools will they admit non believers?

  • Sapper_Coetzee - 2013-05-08 18:47

    Ok so instead of trying to build a new school as promised in 94 the few (fochville) are being discriminated against because political promises can't be kept. RDP etc etc etc are the same

      Henry Kruger - 2013-05-08 19:00

      Where the f@#k does tax money go? Kids are the future of this country and we settle for equal access as opposed to access to all for quality education. I think its time to go should the decision be towards the Dept of Education. My kids deserve better.

      Leora Lipka - 2013-05-08 19:10

      Absolutely right.. Why has the government not built schools in each and every township. Primary schools should service a suburb/ limited area.. That way kids can walk to school and have their friends in close proximity.that is what builds a community. If parents want to belong to a catchment area of a particular school then they should live there. I can't afford to live in affluent suburbs.. But my local school is inundated with children bussed in from townships.. It's time SA accepts being split along socio economic strata.. Not everyone can be super rich.

  • Willem Van Rensburg - 2013-05-08 18:54

    Who is paying Gauteng Educations legal cost? Why is it the taxpayer? They lost the case first time, and cannot except it. Should they not pay there own legal cost out of the top bras pockets? The department do not pay all cost for the school and therefore do not have all the say about the school. The can only have a percentage say, because they only pay a percentage. And that should go for all departments not paying their bills. If you do not pay, you have no say.

      Leora Lipka - 2013-05-08 19:11

      I would like to see the day where if you pay no tax you have no say!

      Ami Mzazi - 2013-05-08 19:24

      You are not very smart Willem.

  • Dina Dee Mamashela - 2013-05-08 20:54

    All these comments are from white peops who are so used to comfort that they are unwilling to share. Get out of your white comfort zone and visit schools in lokshins and rural areas: these schools are brimming with as much as 60 learners in a class. 30 learners in a class? I wish to teach in such a school, what a luxury!

      Amaru Shakur - 2013-05-08 21:27

      Dina u are absolutely right.These white folks are just greedy

      Amaru Shakur - 2013-05-08 21:32

      And I thought next year I was gonna vote DA,but judging from the racist comments on this page.Not a fat chance.

      Ami Mzazi - 2013-05-08 22:11

      They are either clueless or ignorant, they to have no idea about the plight of black people in this country.

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 22:20

      Listen, you completely ignorant racist (and your fan club), it has nothing to do with race. I was SGB Chair of what the GDE rated the 4th best Primary school in GP until last year. Guess what sunshine, it was 72% black, 20 Indian, 8% white. Faculty: 70% white SGB: 50% white Yes, whities working their asses off to make education better for black kids, Indian kids, and a hadful of white kids. Ask Keith Khoza and Vavi which primary school their kids go to, and then you can verify if I am lying or not. Furthermore, what have YOU actually done to improve the education of black kids you claim to be so concerned about? I'm guessing absolutely nothing. Take that mountain of a chip off your shoulder, it is weighing you down.

      Cane Corso - 2013-05-08 22:42

      Shakur. Where does your kids go to school?

      Cane Corso - 2013-05-08 22:46

      Ask the ANC why thy closed almost 3000 schools. Actually, ask them why education isn't a priority but rather mismanaging almost R30 billion each year.

      Ami Mzazi - 2013-05-08 23:01

      PWS69, you telling us about black kids at a former model c,really?, I still maintain you are clueless about the plight of black kids in this country.

      randomhero6661 - 2013-05-08 23:37

      You guys are so caught up with what white people do, that you forget you make your own destiny... complain about anything related to white and privilege... really answer this question, and it is more logical than being a douche... why are there so many black kids? what about controlling the parents that abort these kids at will? i can say i understand the plight but to blame my skin color for the overcrowded classrooms in lokshins is DOM! birth control mofo's!

      pws69 - 2013-05-08 23:39

      @Ami, How retarded are you? You don't even know me, or what I do, or what my interests are. When you grow up (both mentally and physically) maybe we can have an adult conversation about education in this country. I'll even bring pictures of a little school near Lusikisiki, where it took over FIVE YEARS to connect the water mains to the sole tap the ANC "successfully" installed. The same school that, seven years AFTER the ANC REFUSED a corporate sponsorship to build proper classrooms, the kids still have lessons in mud huts without windows and doors. Do I need to go on?

  • DjBas - 2013-05-08 22:42

    Amaru, be honest, you were never going to vote vote DA.

  • Inge Rosenberg - 2013-05-09 08:49

    The Fochville case has no bearing on the Rivonia Primary case. Language is not part of the Rivonia case. Rivonia is fighting for quality education vs. the governments responsibilities to provide a basic education for everyone. COSATU hypocritical! Mr Vavi's children received a quality education at Rivonia Primary School.

  • Inge Rosenberg - 2013-05-09 08:53

    pws69 we support and salute you.

  • pages:
  • 1