File picture: Independent Media

Cape Town - The backlash directed towards the Education Amendment Bill is tantamount to regrouping of those who would like to exclusively keep these benefits to themselves, said the Gauteng Department of Education.

"It is quite clear that those who continue to benefit from remnants of segregation and colonialism to the exclusion of the majority of our people are hell bent to put up a fierce fight to close out our people in accessing quality education," said the department.

Thousands of parents and education stakeholders have written to the Department of Education to object against the draft Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (Bela).

The bill has been slammed for limiting the powers of school governing bodies (SGB) in appointing school heads of departments, principals and their deputies.

The bill seeks to hand control to the department in determining a school’s language policy. It also aims to prevent the disruption of schooling and corruption.

"It is important to remind them, that the days of apartheid and colonial education are long over, and as such amendments of the South African Schools Act(SASA) is just the beginning to finally bury the outdated education."

"Their opposition to the introduction of additional languages in the education system affirms that it is only their languages that matters and as such other languages must continue to be marginalised and undermined."

The department asserted that the doors of leaning and culture will be open for all.

It also stated that South Africa cannot afford a single language school 'when the demand for education is so huge'.

The Education department has expressed shock at the opposing views from SGBs, saying SGBs and some School Management Teams misappropriate public resources and charge high school fees 'to impede access to quality education, hence these amendments. 

"We urge the National Minister to extend the deadline for the submissions and to push ahead with the changes. The Minister must remain resolute and not be intimidated to withdraw these amendments."