New Gauteng school feeder zones ensure transformation and fairness - Lesufi

2019-03-11 09:18
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi (Sandile Ndlovu/Gallo)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi (Sandile Ndlovu/Gallo)

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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced on Sunday that the newly-regulated feeder zones will mean that children will no longer be discriminated against based on where they live.

Lesufi briefed the media on Sunday about the approval of the regulations on school admissions, including newly-determined feeder zones, by the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Lesufi, the key changes in the regulations include:

 - To affirm the power of the HOD to administer admissions in the province;

 - Outlaws all forms of unfair discrimination;

 - Delegates the authority of determining feeder zones to the department;

 - Clarifies criteria of placement;

 - Enables the management of admissions in entry phase grades through an online admissions process.

In terms of the feeder zones, around 2 067 maps were finalised and published. However, 334 schools contested their proposed feeder zones, but fortunately their concerns were addressed, Lesufi said.

"We must emphasise that the adjudicating process was in favour of 90% of schools that contested and recommended adjustments, which were implemented accordingly.

"The remaining 10% of schools unfortunately misinterpreted their feeder zones, confusing the 30km application radius with the feeder zone determination, which was not provided for in terms of the criteria for determining feeder zone. The confusion was swiftly resolved."

'Non-racialism entrenched in all schools'

Lesufi added that most suitable policy options to implement in the delimiting of feeder zones includes community ownership of schools, which considers location of a school in a community and whether the school is subscribed to by learners from the community, and community embeddedness that encourages parental support from the community and promotes community ownership of the school.

"Feeder zone determination plays a significant role in ensuring that access to our schools is fair, transparent and conducted in an equitable manner.

"We are changing the look and feel of all of our schools in our province, which simply means that non-racialism is entrenched in all of our schools. Parents will now have a proper choice to determine without unnecessary restrictions," Lesufi said.

The MEC added that since the oversight by the legislature and endorsement by the legislature, the department will gazette the amendments to the admissions regulations.

"The gazette will be available on the department's website in due course.

"The commencement of the amended regulations will be effective from the date of publication. The 2020 admissions process will be conducted under the provisions of the amended admission regulations."

Lesufi said the amended regulations also comply with the Constitutional Court judgment, which directed the MEC to determine feeder zones for public schools in Gauteng, in the manner required by regulation 4(1) of the Admission of Learners to Public Schools policy.

"Approval of the said regulations implies that our schools will be easily transformed and as such learners will access quality education and be treated the same way and which will also necessitate [the] same opportunities."

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  service delivery

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