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Schools May Not Withhold Learners’ Report Cards, Says Department

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As the 2021 academic year draws to a close, the Department of Basic Education has reminded schools that they cannot by law withhold learners’ report cards for any reason.

Parents of learners at schools across the country await their children’s school report cards as the 2021 academic year comes to an end. Schools have been reminded by the Department of Basic Education that learners’ report cards cannot by law be withheld for any reason.

This reminder comes as in the past schools would withhold learners’ report cards if the parent or guardian has not paid the school fees for the year.

The law that report cards may not be withheld is informed by Section 29 (12) of the National Protocol on Assessments for Grade R to 12, which prohibits public and private schools from withholding report cards for any reason.

The Department’s Chief Director of Communications, Elijah Mhlanga says that schools must find alternative measures to communicate with parents and guardians regarding the issue of school fees not being paid in full. Many parents have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic and are unable to pay their children’s school fees, Mhlanga says that they must make arrangements with the schools regarding this.

Mhlanga says that learners are entitled to see their report cards which shows the work that they have put in at school throughout the year.

No one is allowed to withhold the school report of a child. They are entitled to it and they have worked for it. They are not involved in the issue of school fees and they don’t work. Parents need to make sure that they meet their obligations and communicate with the schools.

Education activist Hendrick Makaneta has also appealed to schools to refrain from withholding learners’ report cards. He says that parents should report schools who withhold learners reports immediately as it is against the law.

Makaneta says that learners deserve to know how they have performed academically especially after having to face the various challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is no reason why learners should not be given feedback. Every learner deserves to be treated with respect and be afforded the space to peruse their results as doing so helps them to craft a future for themselves.

Makaneta suggested that schools that refuse to give learners feedback in the form of report cards be deregistered as they are not following the law.

 

 

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