Gauteng education dept jumped the gun on school feeder zones - Fedsas

2018-11-16 14:49
Panyaza Lesufi. (file)

Panyaza Lesufi. (file)

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The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas), which acts on behalf of member School Governing Bodies (SGBs), says the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) jumped the gun in publishing new feeder zones on Thursday.

"GDE are simply rushing this to 'comply' with Constitutional Court order, without giving the same courtesy of time and information to schools to properly respond," Fedsas deputy CEO Jaco Deacon told News24.

READ: New feeder zones for public schools will 'cross the colour line' - Lesufi

Deacon indicated that he had been under the impression that the process was still underway when the announcement was made. 

This comes after Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi published the new feeder zones for public schools on Thursday, five days ahead of the Constitutional Court deadline.

"We are thrilled to announce this today. It is a groundbreaking way of opening all our schools to all our children and a radical shift in addressing the negative impact of apartheid spatial planning," Lesufi told the media on Thursday.

The Constitutional Court – on May 20, 2016 – ruled that the MEC had to determine feeder zones for all public schools in the province, in the manner required by regulation 4(1) of the Admission of Learners to Public Schools, by November 20, 2018.

ALSO READ: New feeder zones for public schools will 'cross the colour line' – Lesufi

Lesufi told the media that all relevant stakeholders, including Fedsas, had been consulted prior to his announcement.

Not enough time

Fedsas, however, in a letter dated October 16, says 30 days is not the appropriate time to complete the consultation process.

"Your request that schools must now respond within 30 days is not rational or, even more so, reasonable.

"The determination of a feeder zone has certain implications for schools and it cannot be done hastily. It is not only the rights of a specific school that is affected, but also those of the parents and the school community and the children," wrote provincial manager Dr Jean Van Rooyen.

"We asked for a further extension and it was declined," Deacon added.

The determination of feeder zones will require the SGBs to resubmit their policies such as language, hair, but particularly admissions, in line with the demographics represented to the HOD for ratification. The publication of the feeder zones dictates that this should be done within three months.

Interdict

Lesufi hinted at the briefing that Fedsas was already trying to interdict the process.

"There isn't a court interdict yet, but we have received lawyers letters, and that is where it starts," Lesufi

Fedsas, however, has disputed this. 

"I don’t know where the MEC got the message. He cannot talk on behalf of Fedsas. We will study the regulations and advise our members to use the internal process," Deacon said.

SGBs have 30 days to lodge their appeal to the department before the proposed feeder zones are made ready for implementation in 2020.

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Read more on:    fedsas  |  panyaza le­sufi  |  johannesburg  |  education
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