Draft Charter on Religious Conduct in Schools, Almost Finalised

by Daniela Ellerbeck
8 August 2017

In May 2014, the Department of Basic Education commenced a consultative process regarding the increase of harmful religious practices infiltrating our schools. The meeting agreed that there should be a consensus regarding the Departmental response; that a Charter on rights and responsibilities for religious conduct in learning environments be formulated; and that a strategy for community mobilisation should be developed to implement the outcomes.  A Task Team was established to take the process forward.

Having met with the Department in May 2017 when the draft Charter first came our attention, the Department invited FOR SA to join the Task Team and assist in the drafting of the Charter.  On Friday, 28 July, FOR SA’s Legal Counsel attended a Task Team meeting in Pretoria convened to finalise the draft Charter.  We were able to give meaningful input, particularly also with regard to the impact of the recent ‘OGOD’ judgment by the Johannesburg High Court.

The Department’s hope is to finalise the draft Charter by mid-August whereafter it will be presented to the Minister for consideration. Once the Minister is satisfied with the draft, it will be published for public comment. (At that stage, we will also make the draft Charter available on the FOR SA website for consideration and comment).

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