Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill: Full report on public participation not yet adopted by committee

The Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill has once again hit a snag.

The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education was expected to adopt the compiled report on all public participation today. However, seeing as members received the report less than 24 hours before the meeting, it will only be considered on the 15th of August during a physical meeting.

The report analyses written and oral submissions to the Committee in Cape Town as well as written and oral contributions made during visits to three centres in each province.

The numbers will still be dealt with in more detail, seeing as it appears that everything was not calculated correctly.

According to the report as distributed, 14 801 (56%) of the 26 593 participants support the Bill, while 10 128 (38%) reject it. The rest partially support it or failed to indicate.

There is a clear trend indicating that electronic submissions are predominantly against the Bill (88%), while submissions delivered by hand or courier are in support of it (98%).

During the provincial visits, 46% of the oral submissions were in favour of the Bill and 43% were against it. In addition, 50% of those who filled in forms were in favour of it and 37% were against it. In both cases, the rest were inconclusive or failed to indicate.

The FF Plus rejects the Bill in its entirety. The electronic revolution affecting the educational sector, especially since the Covid-19-related lockdown, is not taken onto consideration at all.

It is, therefore, outdated before even being promulgated. What is even worse is the centralisation of power in the hands of provincial department heads, at the expense of school governing bodies rooted in communities.

When the Bill is discussed section by section from 15 to 18 August, the FF Plus will once again put forward its proposals.

These entail school governing bodies retaining their powers; the implementation of an independent education regulator; and that the freedom of choice as regards curricula, which is already a reality, must be recognised in the law.

Everyone in South Africa deserves a better educational system than what the ANC wants to provide.



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