Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill could increase power of politicians in sector: DA

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has sought to explain the discrepancies with the proposed Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill saying government interference could lead to the African National Congress (ANC)’s capture of the schooling system. The DA marched to Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s office on Tuesday in protest against the Bill.

The Bill addresses a variety of issues including the language policy at schools, home education and alcohol use on school premises among others. However, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Basic Education Baxolile Nodada says the new rules could increase the power of politicians in the education sector.

“Everything that is being touched by the ANC cadres is being destroyed. So when we talk about school capture, it specifically indicates that they must stay away from schools and only play the role that they need to play of oversight and intervention when needed so. This bill does not address the real issues in the education sector. Where so we stop? Today is the education and language policies, tomorrow we take away powers of school governing bodies for principals to be appointed and the next is the procurement of textbooks in schools now being given to certain companies that might be aligned to certain cadres. We need to keep policies away from our schools,” says Nodada.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has defended the so-called BELA Bill.

“We can’t have the entire school to one particular language group or race. All schools must be open to all our children. What we are saying is that if you go to a school and the SGB says the school is full, where do you go after that? The DA says it must remain with the SGB that the school is full. No one must come to the department or appeal to the MEC or minister which we believe is flawed,” says Lesufi.

VIDEO: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi addresses concerns over Bela Bill