No Political Activities Allowed at Schools during School Time
At the beginning of the year, I stated that a major focus of the WCED in 2011 is the protection of teaching time.
Last year we experienced numerous disruptions mainly as a result of the public service strike and we are determined to ensure that every hour of every school day is used optimally for teaching and learning.
It is therefore concerning that we have received information that indicates that schools are being targeted for political activity ahead of the upcoming municipal elections.
I would like to remind all political parties and organisations that a new amendment to the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act (46B) explicitly states that school time shall be used for educational activities only and that no person, or party, may conduct political activities on the school premises during school time.
This includes campaigning, conducting a rally, distributing party political literature and the hanging of posters.
School time means the times of the school day determined by the governing body, and any other time during which curricular or extra curricular activities are taking place on the school premises.
It is significant that the Basic Education Amendment Bill currently before parliament makes the same provision.
Political parties must also understand that permission by the principal or the school governing body to conduct such activities is not good cause to go ahead.
The amendment to the provincial act clearly states that a governing body or principal may not allow a political party or a member of such a party to conduct political party activities at a school during school time.
This week the Department will be sending a circular to all schools reminding them of the relevant legislation. Failure to ensure that these requirements are fulfilled could result in disciplinary action.
I will simply not tolerate any organisation or individual disrupting school time to pursue personal and political agendas.
My main concern and priority is to protect our learners' interests.
I sincerely hope that all political organisations also have our learners' interests at heart and refrain from entering our schools during school hours.
Spokesperson for Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Tel: 021 467 2377
Cell: 072 724 1422