Riaan van Zyl
5 minute read
6 Feb 2019
10:04 am

Roodepoort school still in operation despite allegations of not being registered

Riaan van Zyl

Daybridge International Study Centre allegedly ignored the Gauteng education department's instruction to close down in 2015/ 2016, and has since changed its name.

File image.

Dorothy van Wyk, the grandmother of a former student of Daybridge International Study Centre (formerly known as Dayspring International School) has levelled serious allegations against the school/study centre, she told Roodepoort Record.

In 2015 / 2016, information surfaced that the school was not registered with the Gauteng department of education (GDE).

But principal Sue Parry hit back, claiming the school was only a study centre and that although the students wrote Cambridge exams, which were recognised locally, the school did not offer these exams.

ALSO READ: Parents allege Witbank school is operating illegally

At the time, though, she admitted that she did not comply with the regulations of the GDE, and that they were not registered due to the fact that the City’s town planning department has not issued her with site-use consent.

“To be registered with the GDE, consent for use in respect of the premises from which Dayspring conducts business is required. This is all that is outstanding,” said Parry. Meanwhile the school has moved from Mulder Street and reopened on Ontdekkers Road under the new name of Daybridge International Study Centre.

The GDE took a strong viewpoint on the issue. In January 2016, the spokesperson for the department, Oupa Bodibe, issued the following statement: “The department would like to warn members of the Roodepoort community that Dayspring Study Centre is an illegally operating school and that learners at the school cannot write any recognised examinations that will result in them being resulted and certificated [sic].

“All schools must be registered for accreditation by Umalusi or any other examining body… and Dayspring Study Centre is not registered with any examining body.

“The school is following the Cambridge curriculum, but is not registered with Mark Barber who represents Cambridge in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Van Wyk alleged that her grandson was said to be in Grade 9 at Daybridge Study Centre, but upon making an inquiry with the GDE, they told her that her grandson had only passed Grade 7.

Numerous requests for documentation and proof that her grandson had indeed written exams recognised by the GDE fell on deaf ears and were only met by excuses from Parry, claimed Van Wyk. When her grandson was taken out of the school, no other school allegedly wanted to take him in due to this discrepancy. He later had to relocate to Port Elizabeth where he was enrolled in a culinary school.

Van Wyk is concerned that more learners might be under the wrong impression regarding the grades they have allegedly passed, and the fact that they will only find out the truth when they leave Grade 12, at which time it would be difficult to salvage their school careers. By implication, they would not be able to enrol at a tertiary institution, and most likely will have trouble finding employment.

Van Wyk showed the Roodepoort Record an email in which she poses various questions to Parry, including the following:

• Regarding her grandson’s progress, she wanted to know from Parry: “Could you supply all these reports signed by his parents with a date and stamp of the school and when it was sent out and returned? If not returned what action was taken?.”

• Parry claimed: “A few meetings with parents and frequent telephonic communication”. Van Wyk then wants to know whether ‘these meetings and communications [were] put into his Learner’s Profile’”.

• Parry claimed that “an SMS was sent to [the mother] every time [her grandson] didn’t do homework. Van Wyk then replied: “Mrs Parry, if you cared so much why did you not ensure that his homework was done in detention or even when you took him to your house after school? If a student is disobedient, surely as a caring person that wants only the best for the students you assist, especially when you know that the child goes home to an empty house each day, as well as the fact that you know my daughter’s health issues and [the father’s] long working hours”.

• Parry said in the email that the grandson had to sit detention on Fridays to which Van Wyk wanted to know, “What did he do on the days that he sat detention? I understand that he had to write out a page of the dictionary, each word in a different colour – really, could this time not have been used to assist the child with the subjects he was battling with or given counselling on life skills which is what he obviously needed?”.

In response to the Roodepoort Record’s request for comment on the above email, Parry replied as follows:

“These allegations are false. The writer of this email has no connection with the centre, has never met me or visited the centre. She also lives in another province. The ‘witness’ is a 16-year-old minor. The transfer of the child was amicable with his parents and I believe that they were unaware of the grandmother’s intention. I am sure that you will be contacted by a parent. I have forwarded your email to the Ombudsman.”

The parents though have categorically denied that the transfer of [their son] was “amicable”.

Cambridge International has denied that the study centre was registered with its Sub-Saharan division. The Roodepoort Record is also in the process of obtaining comment from the GDE.

The Roodepoort Record is aware of more parents with similar complaints and concerns.

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