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Media alert: Equal Education to march for education justice and the prioritisation of an education system that empowers every learner

10 May 2024 

 

Media alert: Equal Education to march for education justice and the prioritisation of an education system that empowers every learner

 

#YouthPowerBeyondTheBallot

 

Today, thousands of Equal Education (EE) Equalisers (learner members of EE) will lead a march to Parliament to demand the prioritisation and realisation of equal and quality education for all learners in the lead-up to the national elections. 

 

“We will be marching through the streets of Cape Town, voicing our concerns and the struggles we are facing in our schools as black children. I am 17 years old so therefore I cannot vote. This march allows me  to voice out the issues we are facing in our schools and to raise awareness for our parents and other eligible voters as they vote in the upcoming elections.” – Emihle Jantjies, Equaliser  

 

This is a call to action from learners under 18 to actively participate in democracy and voice their concerns and aspirations for basic education. In this important political moment, learners will raise their voices and re-state their demands to the current government and those aspiring to hold roles in the new government. 

 

“The reason for this march is to express the challenges that learners face on a daily basis and to remind our government that they should prioritise and protect our constitutional rights.” – Yonela Zembe, Equaliser  

 

Thirty years into democracy, our education system remains grossly unequal, with countless, predominantly black learners—particularly in rural and township schools—perpetually struggling to access quality education and forced to learn in overburdened, undignified, and dangerous schooling environments. As a nation preparing for elections, we cannot afford to neglect the widespread and devastating issues affecting the basic education sector. The present state of education demands spirited collective action and the political urgency of government—in fulfilling their constitutional obligations towards learners—to secure a better future for our country.

 

“It has been 30 years of democracy and all that we see is promises that are not being kept. Please vote, and when you do, think of us as black learners.” – Zenande Nyete, Equaliser 

 

During  the march, Equalisers will hand over a memorandum addressed to government officials and several political parties. This memorandum will articulate the priorities and demands we have set out for the current and incoming government as we work towards an equal and just education for all learners. 

 

“As learners we do not want our children to go through the same thing in the coming years. Our great grandparents went through the same thing (struggles). If we do not advocate for this (equal and quality education), there will once again be children going through the same struggles we are currently going through.” – Yonwaba Maliti, Equaliser 

 

As we get ready to take our demands to Parliament, we call upon government to heed our collective call for the prioritisation of education! EE remains committed to building youth power beyond the ballot and to continue contributing to building state capacity. 

 

Date: Friday 10 May 2024

Time: 2:00 pm 

Place: The march will start in Keizersgracht Street and will continue to Parliament, Cape Town 

 

[END] 

 

To arrange an interview:

 

  • Sesethu August (Equal Education Communications Officer) sesethu@equaleducation.org.za or 

WhatsApp 083 890 8723 / Call 063 221 7983

Itumeleng Mothlabane (Equal Education Head of the Eastern Cape) itu@equaleducation.org.za or Whatsapp /call 078 110 6428

Leanne Jansen-ThomasMedia alert: Equal Education to march for education justice and the prioritisation of an education system that empowers every learner