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Cape Town -
Cape Town’s German School is to amend its dress code to allow exceptions to the school uniform for “bona fide religious or cultural reasons”.
The school was at the centre of a debate last month after a Muslim couple decided not to enrol their daughter at the school because she would not be allowed to wear a traditional headscarf in class.
Hermann Battenberg, principal of the Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt, said on Tuesday that the decision was reached by the school’s management board after consultations with parents as well as teaching and non-teaching staff and pupils.
“This decision brings the school’s dress code in line with the South African constitution. It also enables the learner at the centre of this debate to return to the school to further her German education which she had started in her native Egypt,” said Battenberg.
The bilingual school is in Tamboerskloof and takes pupils from pre-school to Grade 12. The issue was highlighted when pupils, protesting against the earlier decision to bar the girl from wearing a scarf, wore scarves to class on “civvies day”.
The Muslim Judicial Council has welcomed the school’s decision and commended all involved in addressing the issue.
“It is encouraging that our young pupils have embraced the concepts of our constitution and acted upon its guidelines by standing up in defence of a fellow pupil even though they have not experienced the marginalisation and discriminatory effects of apartheid,” said council spokeswoman Nabeweya Malick.