Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer has urged principals to release the report cards of all pupils, regardless of whether they had outstanding debt with the school or not.
“My office received a number of complaints from parents last year that schools had refused to release their children’s reports cards because the parents had not paid outstanding school fees,” she said.
“This practice is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Schäfer said that there was, however, nothing preventing schools from getting parents to collect the report cards at the school.
Schools may then use this opportunity to discuss outstanding fees, but may not refuse to release the report cards afterwards.
“If the reports are then withheld for any reason, the department will investigate complaints and will take further action as required,” Schäfer said.
“I understand and sympathise with many schools that are battling to collect school fees from parents, especially when some parents can clearly afford them, but discriminating against a learner for the financial decisions or position of a parent will not be tolerated.”
“I would, however, like to appeal to parents to try and settle their outstanding fees, if they are in the position to do so.”
“Schools can take legal action against parents who owe fees and who do not qualify for exemption or partial exemption,” she said.
The Western Cape academic year is set to end on Wednesday, December 7, when schools are set to issue report cards to learners.[Source: News24]