No-fees relief for poor kids

MORE parents from poverty-stricken communities in KwaZulu-Natal will have one thing less to worry about when schools reopen next year.

This comes after the increase in the number of no-fee schools in the province.

The education department has increased the no-fee schools by 131 to 3513 in the province, bringing to more than 1,2million the number of pupils who will benefit from the policy.

The move is expected to bring relief to parents who are unable to pay school fees.

Education MEC Senzo Mchunu said this was aimed at ensuring that no child is denied education because of their economic background.

Schools in Quintile 1 will be funded at R794,90 per pupil, while those in Quintile 2 will be subsidised at R729,90.

Schools under Quintile 1 are those in economically disadvantaged areas, while those in Quintile 5 are in affluent areas.

The department has classified Quintiles 1 and 2 as no-fee schools, most of which are in rural areas.

"This policy has provided financial relief to poverty-stricken households and will make education more accessible to pupils who would otherwise not have been able to afford school fees.

"Our objective is to provide free education to all needy pupils," Mchunu said.

He said parents could apply to the school governing body for total, partial or conditional exemption if they were unable to pay school fees.

The criteria forexemption are determined by the school governing body and parents.