School’s pry­ing over kid’s dad rat­tles mother

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - SHAIN GERMANER

A SIN­GLE mother’s com­plaint to the Gaut­eng education depart­ment about dis­crim­i­na­tion has put Sax­on­wold Pri­mary School’s ad­mis­sions pol­icy un­der the mi­cro­scope.

The mother was al­legedly asked in­va­sive ques­tions about why she was a sin­gle par­ent and told if she re­fused to an­swer, her child would not be ad­mit­ted.

Ma­su­tane Mod­jadji, a project man­ager at Health-e News, e-mailed Gaut­eng education MEC Panyaza Le­sufi about the al­leged dis­crim­i­na­tion ear­lier this month.

But it was only af­ter an in­quiry from Independent would not even be con­sid­ered for ad­mis­sion un­less she pro­vided an af­fi­davit with de­tailed per­sonal in­for­ma­tion on her re­la­tion­ship with the child’s fa­ther.

Af­ter the school’s al­leged in­sis­tence on the af­fi­davit, she opted not to ap­ply, and in­stead wrote to Le­sufi and the depart­ment about her ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I’ve ex­plained to the school that I have no re­la­tion­ship with him but they in­sist the af­fi­davit is needed as it is the pol­icy of the depart­ment.

“This was an in­va­sion of my pri­vacy and has opened wounds. This seemed like the kind of school that could pro­vide us with ex­tra sup­port but the door was just shut in my face.”

The depart­ment said yes­ter­day it was aware of the al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against the school and had launched a probe into the school’s poli­cies.

“The said par­ent will be as­sisted to ap­ply for the nec­es­sary place­ment at Sax­on­wold. In the event a school is found to have vi­o­lated ad­mis­sions cri­te­ria, nec­es­sary in­ter­ven­tion will be im­ple­mented.”

How­ever, Sax­on­wold Pri­mary School prin­ci­pal Mar­ion Wheater de­nied the school had such a pol­icy, and said it was un­likely its ad­min­is­tra­tive staff would ask a par­ent such ques­tions.

“I’m sorry she didn’t bring the ap­pli­ca­tion in person. No one is be­ing dis­crim­i­nated against.”

She said the school would only ask for an iden­tity num­ber of the fa­ther, emer­gency con­tact de­tails and a copy of an unabridged birth cer­tifi­cate.

How­ever, in spe­cial cases where a fa­ther was not in­volved in the child’s life, the school would not in­sist upon such in­for­ma­tion, she said.

But they in­sist the af­fi­davit is needed as it is the pol­icy

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