The DA has written to the chair of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Basic Education, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, to request that correct Parliamentary processes be followed with the Basic Education Laws Amendment (Bela) Bill.
The DA claimed that the ANC was trying to bulldoze the “draconian” Bela Bill through Parliament, seemingly without due process.
The DA said the committee has not received all the public participation reports, both oral and written, yet the clause-by-clause deliberations have already been scheduled for August 15 to 18.
It demanded a full presentation on the qualitative and quantitative outcomes clause-by-clause, the Department of Basic Education’s comments on the public participation outcomes and on how the entire Bill will be funded, and a report from Parliamentary Legal Services indicating any constitutional implications.
“We cannot allow this draconian Bill to simply be bulldozed through Parliament – due process must be followed,” it said.
The opposition said public input cannot be a tick-box exercise. “All comments received must be evaluated and considered,” it added.
However, the DA accused the Bill of disempowerment of schools and school governing bodies (SGBs) to determine their own admissions and language policies.
It said the lack of engagement with the home-schooling sector and failure to include online and blended learning seemed to be mirrored by the public participation process in the provinces.
It stated that it was clear that the Bela Bill in its current form will only further cripple the provision of quality basic education in this country.