Committee wraps up public participation in Basic Education Amendment Bill

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The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education in Parliament has wrapped its public participation in Basic Education Amendment Bill. The last public participation was held in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.

The bill encompasses 58 clauses proposed to be amended.

The committee kicked off its public participation in Mthatha before moving to Queenstown.  With the last stop in the province being Gqeberha.

Some of the amendments the bill is proposing are, criminalising parents who don’t ensure their children are in school, and making Grade R the new compulsory school starting age.

Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Bongiwe Mbingo says, “The response is very good. We are having very successful public hearings, people are coming. It is a reflection of our country, white Indian, coloured and black, they are part of the process.”

“Since we started in Limpopo, this is the last province in the Eastern Cape we’ve been proceeding very well. It’s about 56 clauses that the department is intending to amend, but most people are saying they don’t want clause eight which has something to do with selling alcohol for fundraising purposes during sporting activities.”

VIDEO: DA on public consultation on Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill:

Selling alcohol 

Selling alcohol during sport days for fundraising, giving language policy powers over to the department and registration for home school learners to use the department’s policy CAPS, topped the agenda in the hearings.

The public had differing views on these issues.

One citizen says, “We want to state unequivocally so, categorically clear that we are in full support of the amendment of the bill. SASSA came into effect in 1986 and minimal changes were made to SASSA in 1996.

Another says, “We need to support teachers there because we cannot just put a clause there and say that corporal punishments must be abolished but there is not anything to alternate that.” -Reporting by Sinethemba Witi