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Joburg School accused of withholding pupils’ reports over unpaid fees

Neelam Rahim |

2-minute read
17 December 2023 | 15:56 CAT

Image: Google

It is that time of the year when children anxiously await to find out whether they have passed and will progress to the next grade. However, many schools still ignore the law and refuse to hand over the report card before outstanding school fees have been paid.

News24 reports that a domestic worker alleges that she was asked to pay R11 thousand before her son’s report card could be released. And as it is, her monthly salary is only R3000.

The parent of a Grade 10 pupil, who owes the school R50 363 in fees, said the school refused to give her daughter’s report card.

The mother of three, battling financially, added that a staff member shouted to parents who owed fees to gather in another room.

While trying their best to pay, they did not deserve to be humiliated.

The dean of the education faculty at the University of Free State, Professor Loyiso Jita, said schools were not allowed to withhold pupils’ reports “in part because that humiliates the children more than the parents”.

He said, “children have a right to know how they have performed and whether they will progress the following year. So, withholding the report card is not good for their motivation and may discourage them from further learning.”

He added that parents must pay the fees per the school’s agreement.

The CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools, Jaco Deacon, said he was astounded that some schools still tried to abuse their power by withholding report cards because of outstanding school fees.

“Payment of school fees is between the school and parent in terms of the SA Schools Act, and it has got nothing to do with the child. By withholding the report card, you are punishing the learner.”

He added the governing body should follow the SA Schools Act and proceed with a proper legal process against the parent for outstanding school fees.

Listen to the full interview on the Daily Round-Up with Moulana Junaid Kharsany.


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