15 March 2018

South Africa: When Is a School Full?


How do South Africans time and again manage to get so upset over some or other crisis, and how do they want to solve it, if they don't even have the right information?

The situation at the Overvaal High School where the judge of a High Court recently ruled that the request of the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), that the school should accept 55 additional English learners was unconstitutional, reminded me of what Abraham Lincoln said: "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to solve any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

Overvaal High School's governing body argued that there was no space in the school for more learners, whether English or Afrikaans, because the school had already reached its full capacity; in other words the school could not accommodate an additional 55 English-speaking learners because the school was full.

Simultaneously the court also based its verdict on the fact that the two neighbouring English schools, Phoenix High and General Smuts High School, did have space. It now appears that this was not the case. These two schools initially indicated that they did...

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