Gauteng Department of Education shuts down a bogus private school in Midrand

Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona. Picture: Bongani Shilulbane

Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona. Picture: Bongani Shilulbane

Published Nov 8, 2023


Parents at New World Institute Carlswald private school in Midrand are angry after the Gauteng Department of Education shut down the school due to non-compliance.

The disgruntled parents said they were not aware that the school would be shut down. They are vowing to sue the school board.

The parents also questioned the timing as over 300 learners were set to sit for their final exams this month.

One of the parents, Rennelle Chetty, said she has two children attending the school.

She said this was frustrating because they were never notified as parents that the school was going to be shut down by the department or that they were non-compliant.

Chetty said an urgent communique was sent to parents last week Friday to collect their children before noon.

“As parents, we are frustrated with the school because no one has come back to us. There was never any communication from the current and previous principal. My understanding is that the school broke away from PLG Group to become Carslwarld Academy, and then became New World Institute. None of the schools were ever registered. We have no idea what is happening with our children or what to do,” said Chetty.

She said she paid about R6100 after qualifying for a sibling discount.

“We are looking at over 300 learners, and as parents we worked hard for our money. We are going to find attorneys and sue the board of the school,” said Chetty.

She fears that the children might have to repeat the year, as currently, they do not know what to do.

Two principals have left the school, one earlier this year and another one a few days ago.

Speaking to The Star, Elsie Pitout confirmed that she was recently fired.

“I was the principal until last week. The owners of the school fired me because I shut down the school on the instruction of the department. The management did not want me to close the school, they wanted me to defy the department,” said Pitout.

Asked about her plans going forward, Pitout said she is going to look for another job.

The Star attempted to get hold of the school owners, unfortunately, no one came forward to comment.

The department confirmed shutting down the school which was operating illegally.

“The department can confirm that spaces have been secured at Midlands Primary and High School in Midrand, for all affected learners, to sit for their end-of-year examinations accordingly. Our officials have been communicating this information to respective parents since November 6, 2023 and November 7, 2023,” said Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona.

He said parents and community members are advised to demand EMIS letters when they are seeking admission at Independent Schools to ascertain that these are legitimate schools.

“The department issues a school with an EMIS certificate that entails the name of the school, address and an EMIS Number, after thorough assessments. If a school does not have

an EMIS certificate which corresponds with the address where a school is situated, then, parents must know that it is an illegally operating school. If a school is in a house and does not have an EMIS certificate that corresponds with an address where it is at, then the school is illegal,” said Mabona.