Grasping school principals will be fired

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Newcastle school principals who break the law by withholding pupils' results will be fired.

This warning came from Christie Naude, spokesman for the Education Department in KwaZulu-Natal.

He said principals who withhold reports or force parents to pay school fees at "no-fee" schools were breaking the law and would not be tolerated.

"The law is very clear about this. No child can be denied an education or be victimised because his parents can't afford to pay school fees.

"When parents can afford to pay school fees, they are obliged to do so and action can be taken against them because they are robbing the education system," said Naude.

The department's toll-free phone number had been inundated with calls from parents complaining about principals refusing to hand over their children's exam results, she said.

More than 20 pupils were denied entry to Hlalanathi High School, Lethamoya High, Siyamukela High and Ndumisweni High in Madadeni township. Two pupils at Phakama Higher Primary, in KwaMashu, north of Durban, were also victimised.

Their parents brought the matter to Sowetan's attention and their children have now been admitted to the schools.

Naude said there were no circumstances in which a child's report card could be withheld.

She said 53percent of provincial schools did not charge a fee.