By Loushe Jordaan Gilbert
As the class of 2023 bids farewell to the academic year this week, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) said that no school is allowed to refuse learners access to their report cards.
Annually, parents report that they are unable to receive their children’s report cards because they are not able to pay school fees. Speaking on VOC Breakfast, WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said parents who fall victim to this illegal act can contact their district office and file a complaint against the school.
“I am surprised that this issue comes up each year and the WCED makes it very clear that no school is allowed to withhold a report card, however, I must add that the principal of the school has every right to call the parents to collect the report card and discuss payment methods, but at the end of that discussion the report card has to be handed to the parents irrespective of the outcome of that discussion,” she stressed.
Hammond said it is important to acknowledge that parents are struggling and issues such as the high unemployment rate, the fact that inflation constantly increases and the general cost of living do impact people’s ability to pay school fees.
“We also have to note that schools are struggling. So, we as the WCED appeal to anyone who is able to pay anything towards the school fees of their children to do so as every little helps and those who can’t have to communicate this with the school ahead of time,” she reiterated.