Malawians who want to illegally stay in South Africa so that their children should get educated in the country will have to think twice as some schools in the rainbow country have started to bar illegal immigrants from registering their children with them.
Malawi24 has learnt that Malawians staying in South Africa are among foreign nationals who were turned away by a principal at a Primary School in Johannesburg where they went to enroll their children for the 2016 academic year.
The principal told the Malawians that the school won’t take in kids of illegal immigrants.
The actual number of affected children could not be established but a source told Malawi24 that over 50 children were turned away by the school’s principal on Thursday last week.
The worrying part is that some of the parents said they had valid documents. South African schools opened on Wednesday last week.
One of the concerned parents who has a child at the school and spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity said he is worried about his child’s future.
He further said parents were told to approach the Department of Home Affairs to resolve the dispute.
Gauteng province’s Department of Education spokesperson, Oupa Bodibe, confirmed the barring of foreigners at their schools.
“What we gather is that the headmaster asked the parents to bring their documents otherwise the children would not be registered for this academic year. The documents regularizing their stay are needed for registration at the school,” said Bodibe.
Bodibe further apologized to the concerned parents and assured them that the issue will be resolved as soon as possible.
“We are deeply concerned about what is happening in schools. We will engage with the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, to come up with a solution to this issue. These children know nothing,” he said.
“They do not understand anything about illegal migration and honestly they cannot be deprived of their right to education.”