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WCED should review its policy on recalcitrant pupils

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The recent suspension of South Peninsula’s High’s Principal, Brian Isaacs, has become burdensome for the educational system and the Western Cape Education department (WCED), specifically with regards to the policy of the expulsion of pupils. In response to the case, many educators have requested clarity on the impact of the policy on educators, who work toward creating a conducive learning environment for all learners, as well as the impact on the majority of learners who are willing to learn.

Isaacs, who has been employed as the principle of South Peninsula High for more than 30 Years, was suspended by the WCED on charges of verbal and physical abuse and the refusal to accept the return of students whom he wished to have expelled. In addition, Isaacs, is being charged for the transgressions of noise nuisance laws as a result of his “infamously loud school public address system.”

Principal at Glendale Secondary and public relations officer for the Progressive Principals’ Association (PPA), Achmat Chothia, explained that the PPA has requested that the WCED reinstate Isaacs, as this situation calls to attention the rights and responsibilities of all stake holders.

“Put more pressure on parents as well because parents, as stake holders, need to ensure that their children are adhering to rules and regulations and treating others with utmost respect,” Chothia noted.

He explained that the current process of expulsion requires governing bodies to first approach the WCED, after which an official will take a decision on the matter. In some instances, he notes, due to technicalities, learners are not expelled.

Chothia further noted that governing bodies and principles are disempowered by the process, since they are only granted authority to recommend an expulsion. He, therefore, encouraged all education bodies to assist in enforcing expulsions.

He notes that parents, when required to find alternate schools for expelled learners, will realise that it is not an easy process and will, subsequently, enforce rules for their children to abide by.

“These perpetrators get to stay at the school, but what about the rights of all the other learners?” Chothia concluded.


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