Bela is driving parents crazy. One source claims that 100000 parents have signed a petition against the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill recently gazetted by the government. The bill returns to three key policy controversies that the national Department of Education has stoked over the years - language policy, pupil admissions and teacher appointments. From the parents' point of view, the changes erode their democratic rights through the school governing body to make or recommend decisions on these key policies. From the department's point of view, the changes are necessary for the transformation of schools. Both parties, in my view, are to blame for this standoff.I am convinced that many white-dominant schools, particularly Afrikaans institutions, use their language policies as one of the instruments for limiting black enrolments. Do not be fooled by the argument about language rights and the constitution; by limiting instruction to Afrikaans, most black African pupils (and teac...

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