DA encourages communities to raise BELA-concerns at public hearings

Issued by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education
24 Feb 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Baxolile ”Bax” Nodada MP.

The first round of public hearings regarding the draconian Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill will commence this weekend in Limpopo (please see schedule below), and the DA encourages communities to seize the opportunity to voice their oppositions and concerns.

The DA has used all platforms available to raise our various concerns, and will continue in our efforts to protect communities rights to decide what’s best for their children.

High among our concerns are the fact that the BELA Bill will disempower school governing bodies (SGBs) from determining the admission and language policies of their schools. Decisions regarding language of learning and whether a school will teach learners in their mother tongue will be placed in the hands of the provincial heads of the Department of Basic Education.

To add insult to injury, SGBs would be forced to appeal unfair or damaging policies to the same heads of department that imposed these policies in the first place.

While the DA supports compulsory grade R, the Department simply does not have the necessary resources to enforce this.

The Department has also failed to conduct extensive consultations with the home schooling sector before drafting regulations that does not take the unique challenges of the sector into account.

This while failing to address blended and online learning at all, despite the enormous impact these forms of teaching had during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DA has the best interest of communities at heart and believes that the BELA Bill in its current form will undermine fundamental rights regarding the education of our children. We urge parents, teachers, and community leaders to attend the public hearings en masse and raise their concerns.

Date Area Local municipality Education District Venue Time
Friday, 24 February Thohoyandou Thulamela Local Municipality Vhembe Education District Makwarela Hall 14:30 – 18:30
Saturday, 25 February Giyani/Tzaneen Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality Mopani Education District Lenyenye Hall 14:30 – 18:30
Sunday, 26 February Polokwane Polokwane Local Municipality Capricorn Education District Jack Botes Hall 12:00 – 16:00