The parents of more than 1 000 pupils have been left worried about where their child will attend school after Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi shut down two bogus schools in Ivory Park yesterday.
Some “teachers” from the Wisdom English Private School and the Grace Christian Combined School were arrested for not having legal identification documents or South African Council for Educators- compliant documents required to teach in schools.
Lesufi said parents should not subject their child to a school which cannot produce credentials or a valid report card. He advised parents to research their school of choice before enrolling their child.
“An application to start a school is not permission to establish a school,” he said.
“This creates serious fraudulent offences because someone is collecting money who cannot give an account to this. This is also a money-laundering offence. These pupils are in infrastructure which do not have proper ventilations nor is there fire escapes or signs to direct the pupils in case of a fire.
“This is a disaster and in the end the department is blamed for this. The future of the pupils come first, we can’t postpone their future. Why destroy their future by wasting their time with learning which cannot be account for anywhere in their future.”
Lesufi said the department was not restricting those who felt the urge to establish a school but would advise them to do it the right way.
Zanele Masangane, a parent, said she felt helpless. Her son is in Grade 6 and this was his final year at the school.
“My son’s time and my money is both down the drain. My son will come home today asking questions about his future and I will not have answers for him,” Masangane said.
Ivory Park police station spokesperson Captain Bernard Matimulane said 18 people had been arrested “for failing to produce passports or permits to prove they were allowed to teach in South Africa”.
However, they would be released if relatives brought their documents to the station .
“For those who fail to produce evidence of being legally in South Africa, they will be detained and the matter will be dealt with accordingly,” Matimulane said.