According to media reports, Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, will continue consulting with some interested parties on the content of the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA Bill) this week. The amendment bill is a continuation of a process that AfriForum had already responded to with a comprehensive legal opinion in 2017. At the time, AfriForum already raised concerns about the state’s attempt to centralise more power within the department, while depriving parental communities of their say in the education of their children.
According to reports and communication from the department’s legal department, more interested parties will have the opportunity to comment on the BELA Bill when it is published by Parliament for comment.
As AfriForum has already emphasized in 2017, the schools most affected by this bill will be the very ones that currently offer the best quality education. Regardless of the socio-economic circumstances of communities, the best performing schools are those where the parental communities are involved. AfriForum maintains that parents have the right to decide on the education of their children – a right provided for by existing legislation. It also includes being able to decide on the language of instruction.
AfriForum will monitor the process closely to ensure that the rights of learners, parents and school governing bodies are protected.