Gauteng investigating schools that are allegedly withholding learners’ report cards

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The Gauteng Basic Education Department is probing a number of schools following allegations that principals and School Governing Bodies (SGB) are withholding learners’ report cards for last year.

A school in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, is refusing to release last year’s report cards for learners whose parents did not pay a donation of R480 to the school.

Attempts by several jobless parents to get the DC Marivate High School principal in Soshanguve and the SGB to release their children’s reports have fallen on deaf ears. They say many children have been affected. Most parents could not pay the donation as they lost their jobs during the lockdown.

Moses Maringa, whose daughter’s report card has been withheld by the school, says he cannot afford the R480 donation.

Maringa and his wife are unemployed.

He’s calling on the department to intervene.

“My daughter spent the entire festive not knowing if she’s passed or not. I went to school to explain to them that we were not working due to lockdown and we don’t have money but they couldn’t hear us. I want the department to intervene.”

Department Spokesperson Steve Mabona says they are investigating.

“Well, we can confirm that we did receive a complaint as per a parent who has indicated that a report card was denied and we’ve interacted with the school that they need to assist those parents and release those report cards. We’ve also sent a team from the district to investigate this matter and check how many learners are affected and check what was the reason to withhold those report cards.”

Education activist, Hendrick Makaneta has also condemned the withholding of learners’ report cards and says it is against the law.

“Schools have no legal basis to withhold report cards. What is needed is to report the culprits to the office of the MEC for intervention. We condemn the schools that refuse to comply with the law. Fee-free schools can raise money in accordance with the guidelines from the School Governing Bodies but parents are not forced to make a contribution. I will write to the Department of Education and raise the issue on behalf of the affected child. This must be addressed very quickly.”

Makaneta has urged the department to speed up the investigation.