'The 5km radius will be a thing of the past' - Panyaza Lesufi proposes changes to school admissions

Panyaza Lesufi
Panyaza Lesufi
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Government schools will no longer be allowed to admit pupils based on the proximity of their parents' home or work address - if Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi gets his way.

At a news conference on Wednesday‚ the MEC and provincial education department said members of the public have until August 29 to comment on the amendments to regulations relating to the admission of learners in public schools.

"Among others‚ the published amendments propose that public schools in the province will no longer unfairly discriminate against pupils on the basis of race‚ language‚ ethnicity‚ origin‚ culture‚ colour‚ age‚ religion conscience‚ belief‚ sexual orientation‚ HIV status or any other illnesses‚" said Lesufi.

"You may not be aware‚ but there are schools that go to the extent of asking a clinic whether this child is HIV-positive or not before they admit them."

Lesufi said the department will also do away with the requirement of accepting pupils according to how far they live from the school.

"The 5km radius will be a thing of the past‚" he said.

Furthermore‚ according to the draft amendments‚ a pupil may not be denied admission because the parent is unable to pay or has not paid school fees. "If a domestic worker works in a particular area and wants to take a child to a school that is close‚ that domestic worker cannot be discriminated against‚" said Lesufi.

Other criteria used by the department to place learners include the curriculum‚ siblings currently at the school‚ representative type and school structure.

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