Relief as Bay school allowed to reopen

Parents at the Edu-Planet independent school in Port Elizabeth are relieved their children will be able to return to school, nearly two months after it was forced to close.

The 300 pupils were left in the lurch when the Struandale school was ordered, by the Grahamstown High Court, to close immediately.

The provincial Department of Education had brought an urgent court interdict against EduPlanet in February to stop the school from operating as it was not registered with the department.

The department said at the time that this was the first step in its battle against unregistered schools.

The school is now set to resume operations on April 18.

While some parents frantically sought alternative schools, others kept their children at home as they did not have money to pay fees at other schools.

A parent of a Grade 8 pupil said the past six weeks had been stressful for his family.

“I cannot begin to describe how hectic this has been,” the man, who did not want to be named, said.

“It broke my heart when she cried every day as I left for work.”

The father said he had been unable to fork out additional school fees after he had already paid half of the year’s school fees up-front for Edu-Planet.

The Herald reported earlier that the school owed parents thousands in registration and school fees, and for stationary.

An SMS inviting parents to a meeting tomorrow has been circulated by the school.

It says in the text message that the school has been “permanently registered”.

Edu-planet principal Charl Meyer declined to comment yesterday, saying only: “I will have to find out from my media people if I should comment.”

Education spokesman Malibongwe Mtima said the school had been given provisional registration while the registration process continued.

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