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Chamisa's MP quizzes Mavima over pipils without birth certificates

by Stephen Jakes
13 Oct 2018 at 14:12hrs | Views
MDC Alliance legislator Jasemine Toffa has questioned Minister of Primary and Secondary Schools Paul Mavima over the denial of children without birth certificates from registering at some schools.
Toffa asked the minister during a debate in  parliament.

"My question is to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.  Is it Government policy to disallow children without birth certificates from registering for entry to schools?  Furthermore, children have been sent away from school for not paying school fees and the Minister has said it is not Government policy.  I would like to know what measures the Minister is taking to make sure that all children go to school," Toffa said.
In response Mavima said it is not Government policy to disallow learners without birth certificates to be registered in schools but parents should strive to ensure that such learners at some point get the documentation that is needed because those documents will be required for the writing of examinations especially at Grade 7 and later on.

"We have also said on several occasions in this House that it is not Government policy to exclude any learner from school for non-payment of fees.  We have indicated that if it is happening in any particular school, we should be told so that action can be taken against the school leadership that is practising such behaviour," he said.

Topffa said she appreciates minister's answer but there are children that have parents that do not have birth certificates.

"What are the children supposed to do if their parents do not have birth certificates?  Can the Minister not find a formula that allows children with parents that cannot get birth certificates to go to school?" she asked.

Minister Mavima said as a Ministry, they have not excluded any learner but the onus is on the guardians or the parents to make sure that there is documentation for the learners, especially beyond Grade 7.

"We have had some learners going through Grade 7 but once they want to proceed beyond that, then there is a requirement for documentation.  In terms of a solution to the documentation issue, I do not have jurisdiction over that," he said.

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