If you are in the process of looking for a school for your child, please remember that the surge of unregistered educational institutions in South Africa is of concern to dedicated educators. Why, you may ask. Often, the teachers are not qualified to educate and do more damage than good, and many of these fly-by-night schools advertise courses and qualifications that do not exist.
Qualified teachers are imperative to successful learning and even more so for children with special needs. Unregistered schools receive payment and often cannot deliver the approved education. This is one of the reasons all independent schools must be registered.
Any person may open an educational institution, but this facility must be registered with the relevant provincial department of education and must comply with the department’s conditions for registration. To ensure the private school you are considering for your child is appropriately registered we suggest you:
- check that the school’s registration number is valid – the Umalusi Council (https://www.umalusi.org.za/) can help you here,
- ensure the school’s premises are to your satisfaction,
- understand the school’s enrolment forms before committing your signature to the document.
Owners of unregistered schools could face 10 years imprisonment and/or a R250 000 fine.
If you prefer to homeschool your children, an application to the head of your provincial education department is required. Here you will register your child for home schooling. You can either teach your child yourself or hire a tutor to do so. Homeschooling in South Africa was legalised in 1996. We addressed homeschooling in a previous article on this website.
It has been said that each school takes about three years to break even. A vast amount of time, energy and finance goes into starting a school which means that those who own successful independent schools have the interest of their learners at heart.