School body denies child was 'isolated' over unpaid fees

The Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (Isasa) has denied reports that a 16-year-old Pietermaritzburg boarding school pupil was kept in isolation over unpaid school fees

There was no isolation of the pupil.

Lebogang Montjane, Executive Director at Independent School Association of Southern Africa

There were no issues of solitary confinement. The student was permitted to go to the library. All her teachers came and gave her work.

Lebogang Montjane, Executive Director at Independent School Association of Southern Africa

The child was not isolated. She could interact with her friends and go to the library.

Lebogang Montjane, Executive Director at Independent School Association of Southern Africa

The association's Lebogang Montjane says the girl’s parents had defaulted on fees payments and she was subsequently kept in the sick bay until a parent was available.

Montjane says the child's basic right to education was not diminished because she had access to learning resources and one-on-one teaching.

He says that media reports were mischaracterisation of what happened.

'Children's rights have to be upheld at all costs'

Meanwhile, lobby group Equal Education says it is shocked by the reports that the pupil was allegedly locked in isolation for three consecutive school days because her parents had defaulted on school fees.

Equal Education spokesperson Mila Kakaza says the all schools, irrespective of whether thy are private school, must ensure that a pupil's learning is not impacted.

According to Kakaza, the private school has several other alternative ways in which to resolve the fees dispute.

The punishment of solitary confinement is very extreme and unconstitutional.

 Mila Kakaza, Spokesperson at Equal Education 

The issue here is not with the learner. The learner has the Constitutional right to basic education.

 Mila Kakaza, Spokesperson at Equal Education 

Children's rights have to be upheld at all costs.

 Mila Kakaza, Spokesperson at Equal Education 

It's not reasonable to keep a learner in solitary confinement for three days.

 Mila Kakaza, Spokesperson at Equal Education 

Take a listen to both sides of the stories:


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