Schools money curb to be dropped

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

KwaZulu-Natal - The Basic Education Department is expected to formally withdraw its controversial regulation curbing extra pay from governing bodies to school staff on Friday.

The amendment to section 38A of the SA Schools Act, gazetted on December 15, was slated as effectively eroding the rights of parents to influence the quality of education their children received.

The department stood firm that it would not allow the “commodification” of the schooling system, and sought to ban bonuses and limit overtime claims which resulted in “exorbitant” school fees.

The Governing Body Foundation and the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) were among the critics of the amendment.

Last month, the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools and Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie (SA Teachers Union) launched an application in the Cape Town High Court to have the regulation declared unlawful.

Federation head Paul Colditz and foundation chairwoman Diane Gammie said that, at a meeting attended by the department’s director-general, Bobby Soobrayan, in Pretoria this week, they were assured that a notice would appear in today’s Government Gazette, announcing the withdrawal.

Soobrayan told The Mercury it was agreed it was best to allow for further consultation on whether the current laws were sufficient, or further regulations were required.

“The confidence and morale of teachers is at stake. Our concern was the negative message the regulations sent that, irrespective of the extra mile you walk, we [the department] don’t want it to be rewarded,” Colditz said. “We share the concern of the department that there are schools who are acting outside the law. But there are mechanisms in place to deal with that.”

He said it was likely the court action would be dropped, as soon as consensus on certain other technicalities could be reached. - The Mercury


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