CAPE TOWN – Parents who refuse to return their children to school, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as per the Department of Basic Education’s order on June 1, should keep this in mind:
The South African Schools Act (SASA) states that parents are obligated to send their children to school from the first school day of the year in which their child reaches the age of seven, until the last school day of the year in which the learner reaches the age of 15 or Grade 9 – whichever comes first.
Only when the child is over the age limit can the child be withdrawn from school, by law.
Here are a few things to consider :
- According to the SASA, a parent who does not want to comply with the school duty requirements must obtain permission from the provincial education department to do so. This is in alignment with section 4(1), which states: A Head of Department may exempt a learner entirely, partially, or conditionally from compulsory school attendance if it is in the best interests of the learner.
- If this permission is received, consideration may be given to registering the learner for homeschooling with a curriculum provider who will certify the learner for the grade at the end of the year.
- Non-registration with a curriculum provider means that the child will have no proof of the year’s learning and that no formal certificate (report) will be issued for the year.
- The parent must understand that any public school will have the right to determine the standard of homeschooling, whether or not a certificate has been issued.
To enrol for 2021 the child’s application will not get preferential treatment and will be dealt with according to the school’s admission policy.
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