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Withholding learner report cards illegal

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As learners are preparing to mark the end of the 2018 academic year next Wednesday, the Department of Education warned that no school should withhold learners’ progress report cards on the basis of nonpayment of school fees or because a learner has lost a textbook.
However, departmental spokesperson Sam Makondo cautioned that parents must take full responsibility by making arrangements with the school as to how they are intending to pay the outstanding fees and also how a lost textbook will be replaced. Education is about taking responsibility by parents, the department and learners themselves, he stated.
Makondo further indicated that these resources are needed for the running of the school and for use by other learners in terms of the textbooks. The same parent who doesn’t return a lost textbook was not going to be happy when their children report to them that they don’t have a textbook, so its important to think of other learners who must use the textbook and have it replaced when your child has lost it, Makondo explained.
“Parents must complain rightfully but at the same time must take responsibility of fulfilling their obligations that they signed for in the beginning of the year. In cases where schools do otherwise, parents can take the matter up with the circuit office but with proof that they have made proper arrangements to fulfil their obligations. Remember a parent collects the report on behalf of a child, so what we deal with is parents not making proper arrangements with schools as to how they will fulfil their obligations financially or otherwise and it is a matter which is raised with them well in time but they don’t heed the call and wait for the last day of school,” Makondo reiterated.
Following the completion of the National Senior Certificate examinations last Wednesday, the provincial matric results are expected to be announced by Education MEC, Ishmael Kgetjepe at Protea Hotel Ranch Resort on 4 January. Makondo emphasised that they are hoping to improve the matric pass rate, adding that the department worked hard to assist learners through the enrichment programmes that included Saturday classes, winter schools, spring lessons and radio lessons.
He further outlined that educators were taken to various content workshops and training aimed at strengthening their teaching methods and better curriculum delivery. Underperforming schools were directed to develop their improvement plans which were monitored on a monthly basis, Makondo said. He went on to explain that circuits and districts supported schools in the implementation of these plans so that there is better performance in all terms.
“Limpopo has given a good account of itself in terms of dominating the national awards and we have no reason of believing otherwise come January. We are always hopeful and believe in our learners,” Makondo concluded.

Story: ENDY SENYATSI
>>endy@observer.co.za