School in Pretoria allegedly withholds learner’s report card for returning ‘damaged’ books

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The head of the department at Orchards Primary School allegedly told the boy’s mother that the books he returned were ‘too damaged’.

The Orchards Primary School, north of Pretoria, found itself in hot water after a senior teacher allegedly withheld a learner’s report on Wednesday, reports Pretoria North Rekord.

Schools are not allowed to withhold reports from learners.

The head of the department allegedly told the boy’s mother, Tinyiko Nkomo, that the books he returned were “too damaged” and thus his report had been withheld.

Gauteng education spokesperson Steve Mabona told Pretoria North Rekord: “Parents who are denied reports should report such incidents to the principal or district offices for assistance. Schools are not allowed to withhold reports from learners.”

Mabona said all schools had textbook retrieval policies which were managed by the school governing body to maintain optimal use of resources.

“The matter will be investigated and subsequently [the] necessary processes will be undertaken.”

He said it was regrettable that the important document was denied to Nkomo but insisted “she will be assisted to retrieve” it accordingly.

In a brief conversation with Pretoria North Rekord, Nkomo said she was distraught as the school was set to close on Friday, and she was also running out of time to take the report to the school where she had applied for her son to commence high school in Witbank next year.

She also did not have the R1,050 which the HOD allegedly demanded to release the report.

“I told her I could only pay half and that they could debit the rest from my account when I get paid,” Nkomo said.

Upon asking whether or not the HOD’s demand was legal, she said the response was: “It’s not legal but it’s how we do things in this school.”

Nkomo said her attempts to get hold of the education department were unsuccessful.

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