South Africa: Schools expel children with no IDs

Published: 20/Sep/2019
Source: Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

By Bongekile Macupe

Two children, then aged eight and 14, from Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape had to leave school in 2015 and sit at home after being chased out of their primary school because they did not have birth certificates.

In Alexandria, also in the Eastern Cape, eight learners from a safe house for abandoned and orphaned children were expelled from a primary school for the same reason.

These are examples that form part of an application brought by the Centre for Child Law, Phakamisa High School and 37 children — represented by the Legal Resources Centre — against the department of basic education (DBE), the Eastern Cape department of education and the department of home affairs.

The application comes after a 2016 decision by the provincial department of education to issue a circular to schools that said that funding for the purchases of learner support materials, such as textbooks and desks, and the allocation of teachers and funding for the school nutrition programme, would be based on the number of learners who have either a valid identity document, passport number, or asylum permit number.

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Themes: Birth Registration
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2019