Certain schools in the Western Cape have been accused of excluding pupils from certain activities like matric balls and farewells for outstanding school fees. 

According to eNCA, some have been known to name and shame parents who have been unable to pay their fees, this often leading to pupils being teased by their peers. 

Schools that have barred pupils from activities

Goodhope Seminary school allegedly prevented pupils from attending their matric dance due to outstanding fees. 

While a school in Lotus River allegedly only allowed 109 of nearly 700 learners to attend their farewell.  

“In terms of the non-payment of fees, that is a function that lies with the School Governing Body (SGB), it’s not a curriculum-related function.”

Western Cape Education Department representative, Bronagh Casey

“Matric balls are a right and not a privilege and as a department, we obviously wouldn’t like for any learner to not be involved in an activity,” added Casey.  

Some parents struggling to pay fees in full

Thulani Masinda’s children attend York Primary school in Lansdowne where he pays approximately R13 000 annually. However, over the past six months, he has struggled to make ends meet. 

“I was not even responding to some letters. The letters said that if you don’t pay, they will hand you over to debt collectors, so we might be blacklisted,” said Masinda.  

He said he admits where he went wrong but some of their methods seem questionable. 

Select cheaper schools, says government 

The Western Cape government has advised struggling households to select cheaper education options to avoid financial constraints. 

In the past, some institutions have been reprimanded for allegedly withholding report cards due to outstanding fees. This year, 574 fee-charging schools were recognised by the Western Cape government. 

“This weekend I’m putting R500 aside..I have school fees to pay come Jan,” said one user on Twitter.

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Presh JM Reporter

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