Durban – While a pupil’s performance at school was a joint responsibility between teachers and parents, there was no provision in the relationship guidelines for illiterate and unsophisticated parents or guardians.
This was the view of Durban High Court Judge Nkosinathi Chili who called on the relevant ministers and officials to bear this in mind when revisiting the guidelines.
The matter before the Judge was an application launched earlier this year by the father of a schoolgirl who had failed Grade 11, allegedly with no earlier warning being given to her parents about her poor academic performance.
The father wanted the court to order that she be promoted to matric, but the judge dismissed the application.
In his reasons handed down last week, he said the teenager had not met any of the requirements for progression.
She had only passed three, not the required four, of seven subjects and had been absent without good reasons for 55 days, when the limit was 20.
Regarding allegations that her parents had not been alerted to her academic problems, the judge said he did not believe that they had not received her reports, as alleged.
“It was only after her teachers filed comprehensive affidavits detailing meetings they had with the parents that the father’s tone suddenly changed, and he finally admitted his wife had attended one meeting.
“After having made this damning admission he again went back on his word and said the meeting was regarding the performance of their other child at the school.”
Whether or not this was true, it proved that they were “alive to the fact that they had to attend teacher meetings”, he said, finding that the school had behaved properly.
Judge Chili said parents ought to play a very watchful role in their children’s performance at school and “not only surface at the end of the year when the…