28 November 2023
Media alert: Civil society organisations call on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to urgently fulfil the legal obligations set out in the Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure, which she signed into law 10 YEARS AGO! #FixOurSchools
Tomorrow, 29 November 2023, education and child-centred civil society organisations Equal Education (EE), Equal Education Law Centre (EELC), SECTION27, Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Centre for Child Law (CCL), the Bookery and Right2Protest will be holding a press conference outside of the Department of Basic Education’s offices in Pretoria to demand that Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga address the infrastructure crisis plaguing the sector.
This 29 November 2023 marks 10 years since the Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure was published. The law clearly states that all schools should have been provided with libraries and laboratories by 29 November 2023 (as well as enough electricity, water, safe toilets, classrooms, fences, and internet). Despite this important law, the government continues to struggle to ensure that all learners have access to quality schooling, leaving many school communities to contend with deplorable infrastructure conditions such as overcrowded classrooms, schools built with unsafe materials, dilapidated toilet facilities and unclean water.
At the press conference, representatives from these organisations will read a joint open letter addressed to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. This letter expresses our concern and disappointment that despite it being 10 years since the promulgation of the Regulations relating to Minimum Uniform Norms and Standards for Public School Infrastructure, many schools’ infrastructure conditions have not improved.
Extract from open letter here:
“We are deeply concerned that school infrastructure backlogs, especially sanitation backlogs, persist despite focused interventions like the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) and the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) initiative, and will probably do so in the absence of prompt, decisive action.
The consistent failures to meet the deadlines in the regulations not only represent missed opportunities to address the historic backlogs endangering the lives and future of learners but also missed chances to improve learning outcomes in the sector. We believe that the missed deadlines and targets, along with the sluggish pace of infrastructure development, point to a lack of political will and urgency in addressing the most fundamental and winnable problems facing the industry.”
When: Wednesday 29 November 2023
Where: Department of Basic Education, Sol Plaatje House, 222 Struben Street, Pretoria
For more information, contact:
Jay-Dee Booysen (EE Communications Manager): firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 924 1352