Prayer and protest in George march against Bela Bill

Some of the people who took part in a protest in George yesterday against the Bela Bill

Concerned parents, teachers, and community activists in George yesterday mobilised for a peaceful protest march against thes BELA Bill, which seeks to centralise government control of schools and governing bodies.

The march took place at 10.30am, commencing from Eden School at the corner of York & Union Streets and concluded at the Department of Education in York Street, says political party #Hope4SA in a press release.

The proposed BELA Bill has sparked widespread concern among parents and other stakeholders in the education sector. If enacted, it would significantly alter the governance structure of schools, concentrating decision-making powers within governmental bodies. Many fear that this centralisation could undermine the autonomy of schools and diminish the voice of local communities in educational matters, says the press release.

It says the peaceful protest aimed to highlight the collective opposition to the proposed changes and advocate for a more inclusive and decentralised approach to education governance. Participants gathered to peacefully march through York Street, carrying banners praying and singing while voicing their concerns about the potential impact of the BELA Bill on the quality of education and community involvement in schools.

“We believe that local communities and educators should have a meaningful say in how schools are run and we oppose the bill in light of the restrictions on our God-given rights to decide on how our children should be raised” said Pieter Terblanche, provincial leader of #Hope4SA and Debbie Pijoos director of God Cares NPO, the lead organisers of the protest.

“The proposed centralisation of control threatens to diminish the role of parents, teachers, and governing bodies in shaping the educational experiences of our children.”

The organisers emphasised that the protest was conducted in a peaceful and respectful manner, in accordance with democratic principles. Cooperation with local authorities had been ensured to maintain order and safety throughout the event.

All concerned citizens, parents, educators, students, and supporters of decentralised education governance were invited to join the protest march. It was an opportunity for the community to come together, raise awareness about the implications of the proposed BELA Bill, and advocate for alternative approaches that prioritise local empowerment and autonomy in education in line with biblical Values.

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One Comment

  1. The BELA bill flies in the face of the basic principles of education in civilised countries. Particularly Christian parents have not only the God-given right, but also the God-given duty to have a major say in the raising of their children. Christians who believe in and practise Infant Baptism would find it impossible under BELA lawfully to carry out their baptismal vows.