Parents have been urged not to sign indemnity forms by the WCED after reports emerged that some schools were asking parents to do so. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Parents have been urged not to sign indemnity forms by the WCED after reports emerged that some schools were asking parents to do so. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Western Cape Education MEC urges parents not to sign indemnity forms

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Jun 12, 2020

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Cape Town - Parents have been urged not to sign indemnity forms by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) after reports emerged that some schools were asking parents to do so.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer on Friday said that the WCED has had a number of parents report to them that they have been asked by schools to sign an indemnity form before their child is allowed to return to class.

"The WCED does not support the use of such forms, and indemnity forms do not remove legal responsibility from the department," Schäfer said.

WCED spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond previously said that they have not asked schools to issue indemnity forms. 

"In fact, we ask that schools refrain from doing so. If parents are being asked to sign such forms they must please contact their district office so that we can address with the schools concerned."

Schäfer stressed that parents do not have to sign such forms, and their children may not be refused entry to school. Schäfer said parents can find their district offices here: https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/contact/districts

Clarifying the statistics of cases of Covid-19 in schoolchildren across the province, Schäfer said: “The number of 1787 cases in children as at June 5 has people very concerned, and the immediate reaction is that it is because of schools being open. It isn’t.

“Of this number, 1537 of those cases were reported before May 29, before schools even opened. The 1787 is just 6.4% of the number of infections across the province on the same date.”

The MEC added that the first two weeks of school for Grade 7s and 12s in the Western Cape proceeded well overall.

 "Thank you to all of the WCED officials, school staff, SGB members and parents who have supported our schools to open safely. A special thank you is also due to the learners who returned to school and co-operated with the screening procedures and hygiene practices."

Cape Argus

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