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RULER   :  Archive   :  1996   :  ZA Schools Oct 1996


School CP - October 1996

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Cape Times, Cape Town, 30 October 1996

Assembly passes new schools bill

By Political Staff

THE National Assembly gave the green light yesterday to legislation that will ensure one syllabus for all children at schools nationwide and remove apartheid distortions in pupil-teacher ratios.

The ANC, with the support of the IFP, the DP and the PAC, secured 232 votes to pass the South African Schools Bill. The NP, ACDP and the Freedom Front mustered 71 votes against the measure.

NP education spokesman Mr Renier Schoeman said the bill failed to draw a partnership between the state and the parents of pupils at schools.

The ACDP's Mr Louis Green said a major failing was that it banned corporal punishment. Green read excerpts from the Bible, indicating that the use of the rod would not kill a child but would instil discipline.

The Freedom Front's Dr Willem Botha was concerned that control over the schools would fall squarely in the hands of the state, posing the danger that those children who wished to be taught in Afrikaans would not be entitled to that right.

But education portfolio committee chairman Dr Blade Nzimande said the bill would protect all children. Directing his remarks at Freedom Front leader General Constand Viljoen, he said this applied not least to Afrikaner children "whom we love as part of the nation's children".

He also said it would take democracy to schools, through the establishment of governing bodies.

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