Motshekga instructs schools to enrol undocumented children after court ruling

2020-02-13 13:11
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga (File, Daily Sun)

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Following a ruling by the Eastern Cape High Court in Makhanda on December 12, that schools should admit undocumented children, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has now issued a circular instructing schools to comply with the ruling, GroundUp reported.

On Tuesday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga sent a circular to provincial education departments, heads of provincial government sections, district directors, school governing bodies, school principals, all South African schools and governing body associations to follow the precedent set by the court.

READ | Victory for foreigners as court rules undocumented children have a right to education

Judge President Selby Mbenenge had ruled in Makhanda in December that the education department could not remove or exclude "children, including illegal foreign children, already admitted, purely by reason of the fact that the children have no identity document number, permit or passport, or have not produced any identification documents".

However, at the start of this school year, GroundUp found schools that were still turning away undocumented immigrant children despite the ruling, and a previous circular sent in July last year by the acting director-general of the Department of Basic Education, SG Padayachee, instructing public schools to accept undocumented children conditionally, while their parents try to obtain documents.

READ | The journey of a 9-year-old in search of a better life in South Africa: 'I thought I would be shot'

African Diaspora Forum spokesperson Amur Sheikh said: "We hope to see the full implementation of the circular. We will also be visiting schools that have been known for making admission difficult for migrant children."

Read more on:    east london  |  education  |  immigrants  |  human rights
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