More backing for EE's norms campaign

2013-06-21 14:34

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Johannesburg - The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Social Justice Coalition (SJC) on Friday supported Equal Education's (EE) campaign for minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure.

"We believe that quality education is crucial in dealing with a multitude of other socio-economic problems that directly impact [on] uneducated or poorly educated South Africans," the TAC and SJC said in a joint statement.

"It is impossible for children to thrive academically in schools with inadequate classrooms, libraries, or sanitation facilities."

The two organisations said they were disappointed with the lack of commitment and leadership shown by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to develop and implement norms and standards.

"Equal Education is a movement of young, poor learners who, within their constitutional rights, have engaged, protested and organised against the poor quality of education in public schools."

They deserved leadership from the minister, with the TAC and SJC appalled by the recent "racist" statements emerging from the department, which sought to divert attention from the real demands of pupils and discredit EE's legitimacy.

Re-draft

On Tuesday, Motshekga said a re-draft of the norms and standards for school infrastructure would take at least six months to complete.

It would not be done at EE's whim, she said.

After an EE-organised protest over the delay she commented: "... To suddenly see a group of white adults organising black African children with half-truths can only be opportunistic, patronising, and simply dishonest to say the least."

The TAC and SJC said: "This ignorance reminds us of the Aids-denialism under the leadership of former president Thabo Mbeki and his former minister of health that TAC fought against."

Such behaviour undermined democracy and stifled attempts to progressively advance the rights of millions of poor and working class South Africans, the joint statement said.

"We ask the minister of basic education to focus on providing leadership on the bread and butter issue of quality education, rather than resorting to personalised and racist attacks."

Read more on:    sjc  |  tac  |  ee  |  thabo mbeki  |  angie motshekga  |  johannesburg  |  education

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