Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has urged parents to continue paying school fees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a briefing on an array of issues, she said there are two types of public schools in the country, the fee-paying and no-fee paying schools.
She explained that fee-paying schools are allowed to charge school fees as determined at the annual general meeting of the School Governing Body (SGB).
“Therefore, the payment of school fees in such schools is mandatory,” she said at Sunday’s briefing.
She also cited the South African Schools Act (SASA) of 1996, which states that SGBs of fee-paying schools have the powers to enforce parents to pay school fees through legal means.
“The liability of parents is determined through an affordability formula, which can be used to determine whether a parent can be exempted partially or fully from paying school fees.”
Meanwhile, she also raised concerns about schools that are charging registration deposits and exorbitant amounts to pay staff the Section 42 bonuses.
This was despite the moratorium placed on the public service salary bill.
“We must advise schools to avoid such temptations, as the first is illegal. Secondly, it is completely unreasonable especially as it is done and enforced under the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI)
The Minister announced that 290 000 young people have been employed on contract as education assistants and general school assistants in the response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Fiscal Stimulus Package announced in April 2020.
The aim of the initiative is to address COVID-19 related academic disruptions by providing assistance in dealing with lingering systemic challenges and support to workers directly impacted by the pandemic.
In addition, the portion of the R7 billion allocated for the BEEI is targeted at saving SGB funded posts in public and government subsidised independent schools.
“We are working hard to ensure that the delayed payments of some of these young people are addressed immediately.”
NSC exam results
The Minister confirmed that the 2020 National Senior Certificate exam results will be released on 22 February 2021.02.15
Candidates who sat for the exams can expect to receive their statements on 23 February 2021 from their schools.
Motshekga said the pandemic requires the entire nation to support its children, and indeed cooperate and support schools on a sustainable basis.
“I urge every one of us, to play our part in keeping our communities safe and healthy,” she said.