South African parents face prison if children skip school

The South African parliament has passed a significant education bill mandating that parents ensure their children attend school or face a jail term.

In South Africa where 8 out of 10 South African school children struggle with reading by the age of 10, the legislative move marks the most substantial education reform since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Under the Basic Education Laws Amendment (Bela) bill, parents could face up to a year in jail if their children are truant or not enrolled upon reaching school age.

Furthermore, Bela includes a prohibition on corporal punishment across all educational institutions.

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