Hoërskool Overvaal vs Gauteng Education court battle set to resume on Thursday

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Hoërskool Overvaal. Source: Facebook
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Bonile Khanyi

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) is expected back in court on Thursday after the case brought against it by Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging was postponed.

The school, which is an Afrikaans-medium of instruction school, brought an urgent application to the North Gauteng High Court last year to prevent the department from forcing it to accept an additional 55 pupils.

In its affidavit, the school claimed it was full and could not accommodate the 55 pupils.

However, the department rubbished those claims and said there was evidence which showed the school had enough space to accommodate these learners and students were denied based on their language preference.

The department said the school had 21 classrooms, and the capacity to accommodate 840 learners, but currently only accepted 621.

According to media reports, the department’s spokesperson Steve Mabona said the postponement was fair as a late affidavit had been filed by the school from other schools.

Mabona also said it was sad to see that schools would resort to legal action when the department had proof they had space.

“We want access to education for all. We offered to give them an educator, learner material and as such we don’t understand the resistance to accommodate other learners. All we asked for was dual-medium,” said Mabona.

Meanwhile, Paul Colditz, the CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of Southern African Schools (Fedsas), said he was in full support of the school.

Colditz said the department’s failure to build more schools forced school managers to admit learners even when they did not have the capacity.

“School managers can’t act irresponsibly by pushing up the numbers all the time. This will endanger the health and safety of the learners”, said Colditz.

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Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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