School’s prying over kid’s dad rattles mother
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