15 January 2013

Namibia: School Refuses to Release Report 'By Mistake'

A DISGRUNTLED mother said yesterday that the Van Rhyn Primary School in Windhoek had refused to give her child's report to her because she did not pay the last term's school fees.

"I went to the secretary who told me that they will not release my child's report and that my child will be kept back, even though she has passed, simply because her school fees are outstanding," said the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear that her child might be victimised. "I asked her if that was the right thing to do and she said yes."

According to the parent, the secretary pulled out a big box of reports. "She said that the box contains the reports of learners whose parents failed to pay school fees."

After leaving without her child's report, she contacted the Ministry of Education to report the matter, and was referred to the director's office, but no one answered the phone there.

"I just want to inform other parents who will most likely pay the outstanding fees, because of fear that their children might be held back, even if they did pass," the mother told The Namibian.

According to the school, parents should just visit the school to collect their children's reports. "No, that should not have happened. I spoke to the secretary, the parent must just come and collect the report," said Brenda Mouton, principal at Van Rhyn Primary School.

Romeo Muyunda, the public relations officer at the Ministry of Education, told The Namibian yesterday: "The minister and deputy minister themselves made the announcement that it is illegal for any teacher or principal to withhold school reports. The ministry thus appeals to schools not to do such a thing, otherwise they are against the Education Act."

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