Department warns about illegal schools

The North West Department of Education has warned parents to beware of a large number of illegal schools that are operating in the province and asked people to report the schools.

“These are unregistered private or independent schools that are aimed at derailing the future of our learner’s and have a negative effect on their academic records and to a great extent contributing to learner drop out,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday.

“These schools are disruptive to our educational system since we end up not being able to trace a learner’s progression due to lack of proper record keeping,” North West Education MEC, Mmaphefo Matsemela said. He urged local communities to report unregistered illegal schools that lure unsuspecting parents into paying costly fees for an education with no value.

“These illegal schools must close shop now and for good, otherwise in January 2022, just after the re-opening of the school calendar, the department acting jointly with the SAPS will embark on a full blown campaign to identify and ultimately use the law to close these illegal schools which hit hard on vulnerable learners and unsuspecting parents. Arrests will be made during law enforcement,” Matsemela warned.

The South African School Act 84 or 1996 provides that “No person shall establish and maintain an independent school unless it is registered with the Head of Department,” and “any person who contravenes this is guilty of an offence, and upon conviction shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period of up to 3 months”.

Matsemela added that these schools often employ bogus, unqualified teachers.