The ongoing scuffle, featured in the media, between a principal and the father of a grade 11 learner who was withheld from being promoted, is simply outrageous. I must ask, what is the child doing in the interim? If the court takes 12 months to hear this case does this mean that the child remain out of the schooling system all this while? This is just ridiculous! Maybe the parents will argue that the learner was prevented from going to school pending a court trail and must therefore be promoted in grade 12 too.
The most bazar thing in this whole saga is that it seems the department of education is just laid back about this drama. Surely the department cannot sit back and relax while the principal “faces the music”. Of course he was merely doing his job. Anyone that has had any link to the education profession can tell you that it is an administrative nightmare to fail a child and supposing one does have the constitution to go against the grain it is very unlikely that one would get anywhere. With all the weak policies by the department i.e Years in phase, block adjustments, subject quotas and criteria for condoning, it is virtually impossible to fail a child. Being acutely aware of these challenges, the department is still conspicuously absent in making any attempt to remedy the situation.
The learner spent 55 days away of school and the parents admits that they only attended one parent-teacher conference. WOW! Shows real interest doesn’t it?
If the department permits this rhetoric to continue and allow the courts to make judgments on these issues then, they will set a precedence that it is ill equipped to handle. Until the department of education tightens its regulations it seems that the system will be at an advantage.