22 July 2011
Equal Education will be holding a demonstration outside of the Education International Conference today, Friday 22 July 2011 at 3:00pm, outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
WHY IS EQUAL EDUCATION DEMONSTRATING OUTSIDE THE EI CONGRESS?
Equal Education (EE) welcomes the delegates of EI’s Sixth World Congress to South Africa. We share EI’s commitment to the attainment of social justice and quality education for all, and wish them a productive Congress. We also wish to extend our thanks to EI delegates for donating books to our Bookery Project. These books will be used to establish a school library in South Africa.
The EI Congress presents us with an opportunity to reiterate our call that South Africa’s Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, adopt regulations providing for Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure, and to deliver our demands for school infrastructure standards to Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who will be addressing the Congress.
THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE ADOPTION OF MINIMUM NORMS AND STANDARDS FOR SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE?
School infrastructure impacts on how well teachers are able to teach, and on how well learners are able to perform.
Of the 24 793 public ordinary schools in South Africa:
- 3 544 schools have no electricity supply;
- 2 402 schools have no water supply, while a further 2 611 have an unreliable water supply;
- Only 7% of schools have stocked and functioning libraries;
- Only 5% of schools have stocked computer centres ;
- 11 450 schools still use pit-latrine toilets while 913 are still without ablution facilities.
(Souce: Department of Basic Education, National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) Report, May 2011)
These statistics give some indication of the learning and teaching conditions of thousands of learners and teachers in this country. Since 2010, EE has been campaigning for the adoption of regulations providing for Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure, which will specify the physical infrastructure standards schools must meet in order to function properly. If adopted, these regulations will establish a detailed and legally binding benchmark against which communities can hold Government to account.
In June 2010, the Department of Basic Education policy, National Policy on an Equitable Provision of an Enabling School Physical Teaching and Learning Environment (NPEP), stated that Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure would be adopted by 1 April 2011. This deadline was missed without an adequate explanation.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said that the adoption of Minimum Norms and Standards as regulations requires the approval of the country’s nine provincial MECs (Ministers) of Education. However, Section 5A of the South African Schools Act requires only that the Minister “consult” with the MECs. She does not need their permission.
We call on Minister Motshekga to adopt Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure because she has the power to do so.
EE IS CALLING ON EI DELEGATES TO SUPPORT THIS CAMPAIGN BY:
- Joining EE’s demonstration outside the EI Congress venue (the Cape Town International Convention Centre) on Friday, July 22nd at 15h30, where we will reiterate our call for the adoption of Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.
- Lobbying their members to write letters in support of our campaign to the South African Government.
- While discussing educational issues during the Congress, we call on delegates to include in their considerations the fact that South Africa still does not have regulations for school infrastructure standards and, where relevant and appropriate, raise and address this issue.
- Donate books suitable for school libraries to EE’s Bookery Project. These books will be used to establish school libraries. EE will have a stand at the Congress’ exhibition space where books can be deposited.
- Support the campaign for decent teaching and learning environments for ALL teachers and learners in South Africa.
For more information, please contact:
021 387 0022 / 072 342 7747
021 397 0023 / 082 733 5000