Forced to settle for second-best
A friend of mine from Soweto was told that the school she wanted to send her son to did not fall within her catchment area. She was frustrated by the process and felt that it was unfair. She was not prepared to send her son to a school in Soweto- as a schoolgirl she went to a Model C school and now to send her son to a township school is not what she wanted. This is a mother who wanted the best for her child and we all know that some township schools are in shambles. Parents are therefore prepared to work extra hard and provide the best education for their kids. Now when they are being prevented to access the best then this becomes a problem.
Not every parent can afford to take their child to a private school. Yes, the government should be upgrading township schools but it is not happening at the moment. Where does this leave the parent coming from a township? There is not much investment in township schools and parents want to access the best for their kids and the best choice is former Model C schools.
This is one system that needs to be scrapped and allow us parents to take our kids to schools we prefer - the right to choose. Maybe it is a system to control the numbers and give a chance to kids staying in a particular area first but this totally unacceptable. Some people even "borrow" addresses so that their kids can access certain schools, to look as if they stay in that area. Desperate measures in desperate times.
What I found interesting as well is that the office managers/receptionists at the schools were happy to give me the contact number of the department of education should I have further queries on the matter. I did feel failed by the government. What happens to the right to quality education and the right to choose?
The catchment area system needs to be scrapped as it disadvantages some parents.
Read more by Masanda Peter
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Were you able to enroll your child at the school of your choice?