Section 27 backs norms campaign

2013-06-20 21:54

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.

  • lacrimosewolf - 2013-06-20 22:52

    I've been hearing about this norms debate for at least 12 years. About 5 years ago I thought there would finally be traction. But, true to form, it will never be. How we have ended up, not only with edu but with all critical factors, in a morass of consultation, objection, protest, counter-protest, shelving, etc. is just beyond belief. Collaboration, consultative bargaining and all these fine things are well and good in a rational society. It wasn't rational to begin with. That we are now here, 20 YEARS later, debating whether a school warrants toilets or laboratories or the ability to teach grades in separate classrooms is just mind-boggling. Everyone runs to the law - or the policies, processes, procedures or yet another good old march. WTF is UP with all you people that you will not DO anything? What are you so afraid of? After a gargantuan and tremendously brave Struggle, we really do not deserve a 'fraidy cat government. Someone, somewhere has to call TIME on all this BS and make a freaking decision that ends in implementation. Today. We have all these 'weeks' and 'months' for asstd causes. Why not a "let's give schools toilets" month? Or a "let's deliver textbooks" (f&kc the contracts with distributors) month? We are a nation who talks and thinks and legislates too much and does too little. Scrwe the deals, let's get down to WORK and give people what they not only need, but also deserve

  • Kim Wilson - 2013-06-20 23:01

    The Inclusion Policy is currently being implemented at mainstream schools - Will this include basic facilities that accommodate special needs children? Wheelchair friendly access/toilets/ space in the classroom??

      Payricia Bull - 2013-06-21 03:47


      Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat - 2013-06-21 06:48

      Yea right Anthony. They cannot even spend the money properly. Face it. Education is not the main priority. They spend 16bn per year out of R1trn on basic education and even that is not all spent. Or spent well. Your gov. would rather spend money on the Zulu king's farms than add more to the pot on education. You can build a few toilets and ramps in schools with the 63m they spent on that guy. Why are there still exam papers not delivered, textbooks not delivered? Some of the national departments go for days without power, without computers or copiers and other basic tools needed to do the job (witnessed it personally) and you tell me that the ANC has prioritized education?

  • Payricia Bull - 2013-06-21 03:52

    Some one please but Anthony Michael back into his museum display cabinet and lock it this time ! ....... Eish ....... (Dunce)

      Croix Mactee - 2013-06-21 06:13

      P B - how many times have black people (all products of the 'Nats Edu system') stated publicly on this, and other forums - that the latter was FAAAAAR SUPERIOR to the current crap being dished out to our learners???

  • Celeste Maxime Lackay - 2013-06-21 06:29

    The Honourable(?) Minister Motshega   Your racist slur against Equal Education (of whom I am a fervent supporter) in defence of your and your departments' obvious incompetence and lack of accountability is noted with major concern.   As a coloured mother of an 8-year-old daughter who is fortunate enough to have parents who support her and her school, I am affronted by your innuendo that only white adults will have the audacity to call you to order. How dare you intimate that non-white adults (and the child from KWT that is taking you to court) lack the political will and intellect to question you in the (non) performance of your job?!   Do the honourable thing. Your official retraction of this baseless and stupid remark will be welcomed.   If it is at all possible to find someone within your party / department that possesses the necessary acumen and humanity - and who is not going to use the "Get-Out-Of-Jail"racist card - your resignation with immediate effect will be celebrated by all.

  • Léviter Au-dessus des Montagnes-Bleues - 2013-06-21 07:52

    Another 100 years should be in order Angie ne? Amandla another nkandla. beat an mbeki a day???? kill a dead snake even in Ulundi???? zuma's crumbs fall from the table and tumble to littlewit big phumlani to drive the indians back into the sea????????? develop a nation capable to lifting their legs and stamping dust to the sky ONLY?????????????????? angie reaches the ranks of that pregs racist in the human rights org. and takes over as leader of sycophant from even nzimande. NXA

  • Mark Allen - 2013-06-21 08:02

    So why doe they bring white adults into this, it should just be adults, who is fostering racism/division now. It doesn't matter who cares for the black kids, as long as SOMEONE does, and it sure ain't the Another National Catastrophe

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