Section 27 backs norms campaign

2013-06-20 21:54

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Johannesburg - Public interest law centre Section 27 backed Equal Education's (EE) campaign for minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure on Thursday.

"We believe that failure to adopt these norms and standards over more than five years is a violation of the right to basic education," Section 27 said in a statement.

It also condemned Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's response to EE’s protest on Tuesday.

"This reminds us of the dark days when the discredited former minister of health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, resorted to similar tactics in order to cloud the real issues surrounding HIV/Aids in South Africa," it said.

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 march in 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."

Section 27 said the department had to embrace non-racialism and focus on the state of the country's schools.


EE denied it was imposing impossible deadlines, saying the deadlines were proposed by Motshekga's legal team, agreed to by her and noted in the high court.

The timeline required the minister to consult the public and promulgate final and binding norms and standards by 15 May.

EE said Motshekga asked for an extension for publication of the norms and standards on 9 May.

"EE granted a one month extension. Now the minister requests 'at least' another six months. EE cannot agree to this."

The norms and standards campaign is to get the minister to define what makes a school a school and to set the basic level of infrastructure - such as toilets, running water, electricity, libraries, classrooms - required for it to function.

Read more on:    section 27  |  equal education  |  angie motshekga  |  johannesburg  |  education

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