The Democratic Alliance is delighted to announce that through its continued pressure the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDoE) has finally agreed to reimburse disadvantaged schools for school fee exemptions.

In an Education Portfolio Committee meeting held on Thursday, 29 April,  at the Provincial Legislature, the ECDoE officially announced that schools within the Quintile 4 and 5 bands will be reimbursed. The minimum threshold for a no fee school is R784 per learner in the 2010 financial year.

It was revealed that the department finally budgeted for an amount of R5 million towards relieving the financial burden on these wrongly classified schools that are mainly in previously disadvantaged areas of the province.

The Democratic Alliance is appealing to all indigent parents who have learners at Quintile 4 and 5 schools to inform the relevant schools of their financial positions so that it can be determined whether they qualify for a full or partial exemption as per departmental prescripts.

The department has for now only budgeted for 6 377 learners in the 578 so-called “rich” schools and all applications will be treated on a first come, first serve basis.

The department also announced that the necessary documentation to collect the relevant data will be sent to these schools in the immediate future. Currently they have no data to work from and as soon as it is collected they will at least have an idea of the magnitude of the challenge.

The DA is absolutely relieved that all children of school going age irrespective of their parents’ financial positions will now be offered an opportunity to be in a school, without being vilified or belittled.

For further information, please contact Edmund van Vuuren, MPL on 072 184 7840.