Solly Maseko
3 minute read
26 Feb 2018
9:32 am

Parents allege Witbank school is operating illegally

Solly Maseko

One of the parents alleges that he enrolled his children at Witbank Christian Combined School, and was told that the school does not have space.

A board outside the Witbank Christian Combined School on the Middelburg Old Road.

Parents of a local school in Witbank are concerned that the school their children are attending is operating illegally, Witbank News reports.

One parent explains that after paying an amount of R3 240 for his two children’s school fees, he was called and told that he can enrol the children.

READ MORE: Ormonde primary closed due to illegal water connection, alleges DA

The reason why the parent now wants to be refunded is that he said the school is not registered with the department of education. He said he was promised by the school that he will be refunded, but has not received his money back.

A questionnaire was then sent to the school and the Department of Education for their response to find out whether the school was registered with the department of education. If the school was registered, it should be able to provide a certificate to show that it is registered. If the school fails to provide a certificate of registration, it implies that the school is not operating legally.

The school was asked why it did not refund the parent as promised.

In response, Mr Blessing Phiri, the school manager said the issue was resolved on Wednesday, February 7. Mr Phiri further said:

“The registration of the school, all due process was done with the department of education, our lawyers are handling the matter.”

Mpumalanga Department of Education Media Liaison Officer, Mr Gerald Sambo, stated that the school in question is not registered with the department. He further said that it is the responsibility of parents to verify with the department if an independent school is registered to avoid challenges such as these.

“The department will take the necessary steps to ensure that the school comply with the requirements for operating as an independent school as per the departmental guidelines for independent schools. However, as things stand, schools that are operating outside the law, as a result they must be closed and the owners must face the might of the law,” added Mr Sambo.

The school advertised that it is a day and boarding school and offers matric rewrites. It says it also offers a pre-school for children from the age of two to four years, a primary school as well as a secondary school.

In the past, it was reported that a number of schools were found to be unregistered. Some of these were operating without the necessary registration from the education department, while others had applied for registration as independent schools, but were allegedly operating without the necessary documents. Some schools had not applied for registration at all.

The department of education reiterated that parents must be wary of unregistered schools. The department sometimes finds out about the schools operating illegally, and is able to close them down.

Applications for the registration of independent schools should be submitted before the schools open their doors. Parents should check whether the schools were registered and ask for the relevant certificate.

School officials who flout the law are liable to a fine or imprisonment.

Ormonde primary closed due to illegal water connection, alleges DA

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