SA’s undocumented children have a right to free education, EC high court rules

The Equal Education Law Centre says it has secured placement of more than 100 children in Matatiele for the 2020 academic year. The children were out of school due to lack of identity documentation. Image: Equal Education Law Centre via Twitter

All undocumented children, including children of illegal foreigners, are entitled to receive basic education, the high court in Makhanda in the Eastern Cape ruled on Thursday.The basic education department will in future be obliged to provide and fund a basic education for all undocumented children, including children of illegal foreigners.

It is estimated that the judgment will affect more than a million undocumented children who are either seeking admission to public schools or who have been warned to provide documentation to avoid being excluded.Eastern Cape judge president Selby Mbenenge set aside sections of the schools’ admission policy which in any way hindered undocumented children’s access to school.

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