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Media statement by the Pestalozzi Trust legal defence fund for home education

6th July 2009

The Pestalozzi Trust notes with astonishment the latest trick in the long lasting tournament of bureaucratic acrobatics to which education ministers constantly treat us

On Friday 26th June 2009 Dr. Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training publishes in the Government Gazette a draft policy on the admission of holder of the National Certificate (Vocational) to higher education. (Apparently the envisioned “adult matric”.)

The draft policy is published “for comment” by the public. Closing date for comments is Tuesday 30th June 2009. The minister therefore allows role players and stakeholders exactly two working days to comment on a particularly important policy initiative. And the only address provided for comment is a postal address at a private bag!

This policy can affect the future of hundreds of thousands of South Africans and can have an important effect on a national economy already crippled through the collapse of education and training due to the thoughtless tinkering by one education minister after another.

Indeed, the minister does not even allow for the proper distribution of the Government Gazette. Sabinet, which holds the contract for distribution of the electronic version of the Gazette only issued it on 3rd July, three days after the closing date for comments. Also, a well-known private web site with the naive objective of “Deepening Democracy through Access to Information” only managed to bring the existence of the draft policy to the attention of the public on 3rd July.

It has time and again been remarked that government treats processes for “public consultation” as mere formalities and blatantly ignores inputs made by the public. With such cynical manipulation of the process Dr. Nzimande has removed any doubt that may have existed in this regard.