Home News Pestalozzi Trust commits R2.35m to fight BELA Bill

Pestalozzi Trust commits R2.35m to fight BELA Bill

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The Trustees of the Pestalozzi Trust have pledged an initial amount of R2.35 million from the Trust’s capital fund to challenge the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill in court, should it be passed into law.

A principal goal of the Pestalozzi Trust as set out in the trust deed is: “to preserve the fundamental universally and constitutionally recognised rights of parents and families diligently to guide and direct the education of their children”. 

The BELA Bill, which is now moving to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), would seriously impinge on the rights of parents, and their ability to provide education to their children in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of each child. This is especially concerning for parents with Christian and other belief systems, as it may restrict the free exercise of their rights in the education of their children.

The Trust is well-positioned to challenge the BELA Bill, having actively engaged with various governmental bodies over the years, including the Department of Basic Education, provincial education ministries, the national Ministry of Basic Education, Cabinet, the Presidency, and the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, and is therefore well aware of the flaws in the Bill. 

In addition, the Trust has been waiting since the promulgation of the Policy on Home Education to challenge the law on which the Policy was really based. The decision was taken not to challenge the Policy, considering the slim chances of success for an abstract challenge, and instead to make a direct challenge to the BELA Bill. With the BELA Bill now coming closer to being made law, the Trust is preparing for this legal battle.

The Trust believes that the procedural and substantive flaws make for a prima facie case against the Bill. 

In order to further strengthen this legal challenge, the Trust will also continue its campaigns to stop the Bill before it becomes law. We ask that you support these campaigns to help ensure the success of the legal action. 

We would like to thank the loyal Trust members, who, by sacrificing the price of two coffees a month for many years, have proven Einstein’s statement: that the most powerful force in the universe is compound interest. This has allowed the Trust, over those years, to build up a fund that makes it possible to allocate millions of rands to an action like this. 

As the BELA Bill is processed by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), the Select Committee on Education and Technology, Sport, Arts, and Culture (the SC), is tasked with its review. The Select Committee will convene on Wednesday, the 8th of November from 10:00 until 12:30, for their first discussion of the BELA Bill. During this meeting, they will likely decide on the details of the public participation process, and when that process will take place. 

Consider joining your provincial Homeschool Activist group to stay informed about the latest developments in your province. You can join the Homeschool Activists community by clicking here: https://chat.whatsapp.com/CcSoxn696xt94MxrFrTDhY

Pestalozzi Trust members are reminded that there is a WhatsApp group for members where we will have “Live” comments and a blow-by-blow discussion during the Select Committee meeting on Wednesday. To join, please check your latest emailed News Nugget, or contact the Trust to be added.

Your engagement and participation are vital in our continued efforts to protect and promote home education rights. Thank you for your support.

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