Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has urged schools throughout the country, to admit undocumented children.
Motshekga was giving feedback on the outcome of the Council of Education Ministers (CEM) meeting where issues that affect basic education were outlined.
“We continue to receive reports of learners who are being turned away from public schools, because they do not have identity documents. We need to remind all our schools that the admission of undocumented learners in public schools is an immediately realisable right in terms of the judgement handed down in this matter in December 2019. Any school that does not admit undocumented learners, may be faced with litigation. We therefore, urge all schools to comply with the court judgment,” said the Minister.
Last year, the Makhanda High Court ruled that children without documentation have the right to free basic education and it is unconstitutional to deny them the right to education.
Motshekga said the Department of Home Affairs will assist learners who don’t have documentation documents.
“The Department of Home Affairs will be visiting schools to register learners, who do not have identity documents. Parents and guardians are requested to assist in this regard. Do not leave children into their own devises. Assist the authorities to obtain all the necessary information required for registration of children by Home Affairs,” added the Minister.
Meanwhile, Motshekga has warned schools against shutting down due to suspected cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This following the closure on Monday of Grayston Preparatoy School in Sandton, and that of Cowan House Preparatory School in Hilton KwaZulu-Natal last week Thursday. Both schools closed after reports that the learners might have had contact with people who had tested positive for the coronavirus.