A school can hand over school fees for collection to an attorney, provided that certain steps have been taken before this stage. Schools that do not follow the correct procedures, which include providing the relevant information to parents regarding fee exemption, are not acting in accordance with the South African Schools Act (84 of 1996) 1.
According to the act, a governing body must ascertain that a parent doesn’t apply for a fee exemption before enforcing the payment of school fees.
The school requires proof that written confirmation was sent to a parent by hand or registered post informing that parent that they have not applied for a school-fee exemption. The parents must then be given three months from the date the notice was sent to pay school fees2. The written confirmation (as contained in Section 41) has to be delivered ‘by hand or by registered post’ in order to be deemed an effective notice. As it is not always possible to deliver these notices to the parent(s) by hand, registered post becomes the only other option available.
The South African Schools Act, when reading in conjunction with the ECT Act, makes provision for the service of electronic registered notices as per the Registered Communication channels.
The same registered channels can also be used for sending a Section 129 notification in terms of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005, which is outlined in 9 Paper Notifications That Are Going Digital.
To know why you should be going digital, read 5 Common Misconceptions About Our Industry
“I have found the experience to be user-friendly and very helpful as a tool in the collection of outstanding money from debtors. The fact that all correspondence is ‘registered’ and therefore traceable is also very useful. Having proof that the debtor has received his correspondence via email as well as this correspondence being traced and printed as proof where necessary, especially by our Legal Team, assists with obtaining judgements. There are fewer handovers to our lawyers as Debtors realise that we are following the legal process and try everything to avoid being handed over and blacklisted. I would recommend this system to anybody who works with any aspect of debt collection as the postal system is not reliable and Debtors avoid collecting Registered letters.”
– School Fees Administrator, Bryanston High School
The fifth annual Edutech Africa kicked off earlier this week at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Along with being a two-day long event focused on how government and business can play a bigger role within Africa’s education landscape, it was also my first time attending.
What follows is my experience of day one, and the companies that made the biggest impression on me at EduTECH Africa 2018.
Striking a balance
The keynote address was quite insightful and focused on how technology and education should be in balance with one another.
Things started off with opening remarks from the creators of EduTECH, Terrapinn and FEDSAS, with a mix of four (local and international) keynote speakers.
One of the keynote speakers came from Safaricom, which currently operates in Kenya, and is the title sponsor of EduTECH 2018. Wangeci Kanjama, head of wholesale and roaming department, spoke intensely about the evolution of education and how it has become increasingly digital.
“We have to be more aware about the challenges that the educational ecosystem is facing, so that we can make better contributions,” she noted
Kanjama also advocated for how the increase of technology could make a difference to Africa as well as the whole world.
Following the keynote addresses, the exhibitor hall was opened up, with more than 300 exhibitions on display.
While I could not make my way through all 300-plus exhibitions, there were eight in particular that made a distinct impression on me.
The first exhibitor I saw was SCI-BONO. It is based in the Johannesburg CBD and they support education structures such as maths, science and technology, as well as creating lesson plans and learning material for students and teachers.
Based in South Africa, they offer teacher training as well as manufacture and supply educational equipment for maths, science, life sciences and technology. They were previously known as Edutrade before changing to Lasec.
They offer educational digital reading and elearning material to school libraries as well as individuals. This company is based in South Africa and offers more than 46 000 books in their elibrary and the material is available in all 11 official South African languages.
They sell software to companies, as well as educational institutions for data collection processes, reading tests and analysis, along with scoring solutions.
This organisation mostly specialises in coding. They offer science, maths and technology programs, along with learnership and internship programs for all types of learners and are based in Northriding, Johannesburg.
FEDSAS trains governing school bodies from private as well as public schools. It is a South African based company.
They are a software company and the gold sponsors of Edu Tech, they are about creating an environment for individuals in class rooms or formal education to personalise content creation.
Cylo is based in the US and are a technology solutions provider that offers learner and content management. Their products range from protection for music and movies to an e-reader and gamifed education.
In conclusion EduTECH Africa 2018 serves as a great place to learn about technology and how it’s being used to help those in the education space.
There are a range of initiatives being taken to improve the access to tools for learners and teachers thanks to technology, and trying to find different approaches in which we can increase creativity. It is great to see that even though Africa as a continent is playing catch-up with other regions, there are organisations out there trying to do their best to keep us advancing.
With the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 striving to ensure that every child is provided quality education, I hope to see the country doing well in this regard in coming years, with conferences like EduTECH Africa playing its part.