Education department shuts down 20 illegal schools in Ivory Park

Panyaza Lesufi
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has shut down the 20 bogus schools operating in Ivory Park. The department is now in a process to audit all the affected pupils to determine where they need to be placed and in which grades.

Last week it came to light that three schools, Star Combined School, Four Comprehensive and Our Legacy Combined were operating illegally. Upon investigation, department officials discovered that there were 17 other schools operating illegally in the area.  The schools start from grade R up to grade 9 and parents were paying between R400 and R450 a month.

Lesufi engaged with parents at Apostolic Safe Gospel and urged them to assist the department to close all the illegal schools in the area. 

"You've got until Sunday to sort out everything," Lesufi said. "We understand that you might have been misinformed. However, I have spoken to all the principals from government schools in the area to absorb these children. They will all be shared to all our schools. We are going to deal with the interest of the child," Lesufi said. 

Parents said it came as a surprise to them when they heard news that their schools were not registered. 

Agnes Khumalo said her child has been at Star school for three years. "She is now in grade 3 and all along I was not aware that the school is not registered with the department. I am worried about the future of my child," she said. 

Another parent said she could not take her child to a government school because they are Zimbabweans and her child does not have a birth certificate. 

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