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Basic Education Laws Bill Heading for Parliament

December 7, 2021

Department of Basic Education

The Draft Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill is heading for parliament.

The basic education department published the draft bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 45601.

The draft bill aims to amend the South African Schools Act and the Employment of Educators Act.

According to the department, the amendments are a response to court judgments that protect and give effect to the Bill of Rights.

The draft bill seeks to provide for system improvements in terms of admission of learners, in particular the admission of undocumented learners.

It also provides for financial and public accountability frameworks for governing bodies and provincial departments.

The draft bill further provides for additional regulatory powers of the minister and enhancing the decision-making and oversight powers of heads of departments and members of the executive councils.

The proposed legislation addresses provincial needs relating to central procurement, home education, dispute resolution, amongst others.

The draft bill also proposes technical and substantive adjustments, clarifies certain existing provisions, inserts provisions which are not provided for in existing legislation and strengthens enforcement mechanisms for offences and penalties.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 45580, the department published the Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools.

The Policy was drawn up in terms of the National Education Policy Act.

It is designed to reduce the incidence of learner pregnancy through the provision of quality comprehensive sexuality education and access to adolescent and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services.

The Policy also aims to promote the constitutional right of learners to basic education by ensuring that they are not excluded from school as a result of pregnancy and child birth and to provide a supportive environment for them to continue and complete their basic education.