By BO Staff Writer
The following statement was previously published on the Black First Land First website and is now reissued by Black Opinion:
Black First Land First (BLF) condemns the New Horizon College for blocking a learner, Sindisiwe Mgcina, who gave birth in April this year from returning to school to complete her matric; and for telling her to go back to grade 11 if she wants to return to school.
It is shocking that Mgcina was excluded by the School despite her suggesting that she will be away from school for only 15 days to cater for pre and post delivery of her baby; and passing every subject in the first quarterly examinations.
It is also appalling that Mgcina was asked to repeat grade 11, even though she had passed it, if she wants to return to school.
Mgcina is now extremely prejudiced as no public school in Bethlehem will accept her to complete her matric – and over half the academic year is over.
This goes against the draft national policy of the department of basic education (DBE) which has been gazetted in February 2018 for public comment. The said policy is clear – no pregnant learners should be excluded from school.
It states that “there should be no exclusion of pregnant learners who must be allowed to remain in school during their pregnancies and return as soon after giving birth as is appropriate for both the learner and her child”.
This is a positive response to the history of racial which in this case includes gender discrimination. Mgcina has accordingly been denied her right to education. The fact that New Horizon College is a private School is of no moment, education is a constitutional right.
The conduct of the school is clearly unlawful and BLF will be approaching the Equality Court in this regard.
13 August 2019
Black First Land First Mail: [email protected]
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225