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Schools should take into consideration a south African citizens’ rights to freedom of expression, cultural and spiritual beliefs, which should be respected. In South Africa, the public schools, leadership committee needs clear recommendations as to, how to respect and honour the rights and equality of every citizen, according to the south African Constitution that pledges the fundamental right of the learners following the school uniform. The committee members find it very difficult to follow school uniform policy as it needs to adhere to the south African constitutional rights. This essay agrees to a greater extent that the school's uniform policy should be made inclusive of every South African religion and culture therefore the school uniform policy should not be followed strictly. This essay will firstly discuss, the constitutional right to freedom of religious expression in relation to the school’s uniform policy; Secondly, discrimination in schools based on religion; thirdly, policies that school leaders can suggest and put in place for parents and learners to bring respect and honour to the school and still adhere to the constitutional rights, and lastly, Strategies for Embracing Diversity
Every child in South Africa has the right to education (Government gazette 1996:14); A institute that follow Hindu traditions and customs, refuses to take a child into the school because the child isn’t a Hindu. This is violating the practice of they own religion, culture and belief. The South African constitutional right School Act protects the freedom of expression and religion at public schools. The school uniform rules speak directly to the issues of religion and cultural uniformity. They clearly protect learners’ rights to religious, cultural dress and hairstyles. The Constitutional law must be implemented by all south African citizens.
Discrimination is when a learner is solely judged because of their religion, belief and freedom of expression. E.g. “A schoolboys culture compels him to follow his Xhosa rituals and wear a dress. So, he approached his principal with his request. An agreement was made whereby the learner could wear his Xhosa traditional uniform to and from the school but would change into school uniform once inside the building and change out of uniform at the end of the school day. During breaks he was permitted to remain within the buildings. This learner had the fear of being victimised or attacked by his peers. What right would the school have had to insist on such an arrangement?” this is disrespect towards the Xhosa culture and an insult to the learner's pride and cultural heritage. This learner is being unfairly discriminated at school.
There is an Equality Act that protects religious beliefs. therefore, it is concluded that no South African may be discriminated against because of their beliefs or cultural affiliation, as well as the right to wear (or not to wear) a school uniform in accordance with their religious beliefs.
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