Monday, January 21, 2008

“Child cannot be expelled for bad behaviour” - WCED

By Tina George
21 January 2008

Ten learners, said to be troublesome, were accepted back into school after the intervention of the Western Cape Education Department at South Peninsula High school. This, after they were asked not to return to the school, allegedly on the basis of misbehaviour.

“The school has no right to exclude learners from the school, a child cannot be expelled based on minor misdemeanours such as talking in the classroom. Those issues could have been solved at the school as it’s a classroom management issue where you those cases cannot be reported to the school governing body,” says Deputy Director General of Institutional Development and Coordination at the WCED, Sindi Shaya.

When brought to the attention of the principal of the school he said that he was aware of the procedures but that he was trying to send a wake up call to those parents who didn’t respond to his numerous accounts of contact.

“We do empathise with principals but they should also tow the line in acting within human rights culture within our schools that culture being that you cannot take a learner out of the class without going through the disciplinary process,” says Shaya.

Shaya added that if the school as a whole needs workshops on behaviour problems then the district office in Mitchell’s plain will offer such assistance.

“Schools differ in terms of their code of conduct, what is considered as serious misdemeanours may be considered as a minor elsewhere so I advise them to amend the code of conduct to keep up with the times and the growing issues and challenges that the school is facing in terms of (the) discipline of learners,” says Shaya.

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