|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1996 : ZA Schools Jun 1996|
Corpun file 0156 at www.corpun.com
The Star, Johannesburg, 6 June 1996
Corporal punishment gets the whip
Corporal punishment of school pupils in Gauteng is a criminal offense in terms of the new Gauteng Schools Education Act, parts of which were promulgated in December last year.
The Act is the only one of seven Acts which have passed through the provincial legislature which directly affects the public, but sources have expressed their concern that many teachers and parents of schoolgoing children were not aware of the thrust of the Act.
The Education Act also allows for the gradual introduction of compulsory school attendance for pupils between the age of seven and 15. Only certain exceptions will be allowed by the Education MEC after specific request.
It further prohibits the penalisation of pupils, but at the same time allows for the compulsory payment of school fees which are determined by the governing bodies.
All public schools are also required, in terms of the Act, to attempt to accommodate the specialised education needs of any learner who attends the school.
Religion-based education is not catered for in the Act, but neither is it prohibited. The question of religion stands in direct relation to the question of "freedom of conscience" which pupils should be allowed to practise.
The Gauteng Schools Education Act can be found in Provincial Gazette 113 of December 8, 1995. Gauteng Reporter.
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