Announcement: People’s Summit for Quality Education

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Equal Education announces national People’s Summit for Quality Education: an invitation to the people of South Africa

Equal Education is very excited to announce that we will be hosting The People’s Summit for Quality Education over June 25-27 this year! This national event will open formally in Khayelitsha and be held at the University of Cape Town. 021 387 0022 / 072 345 6775

The People’s Summit for Quality Education will be a landmark event in building a truly national movement for quality and equal education. The summit will develop delegates as education activists and empower them with practical plans to improve their own schools, sharing powerful analysis and inspiring successes.

The summit is open to all. So join us! Apply to be one of the 360 delegates we can accommodate. Equal Education invites you to a new, national meeting of citizens, education NGOs and unions in democratic South Africa. Join teachers, parents and 100 learners from poor and working class communities; join NGOs and unions; join academics and students; and join the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, who will be speaking on the opening night.

Across South Africa, there are countless ordinary learners, parents and teachers who do extraordinary work in poor conditions every single day. This is the core membership of Equal Education. All sectors of society must join these individuals and work together with them for quality education for all. In our unequal country, a few of us are lucky enough to know schools that achieve among the best in the world; many of us know schools that suffer with the worst. But our country is worse for all of us because of poor education – and all of us stand to benefit from quality education that frees the potential of each person.

We are gathering at the summit to take responsibility for our attitudes and actions at schools in communities around the country – and to work together for quality and equal education. The summit will focus on schools in communities: challenges to quality education that all of us can help to overcome. The summit will deal with the socio-economic context of schooling: still a fundamental determinant of the overall pattern of educational outcomes in South Africa. It will engage with parents’ and community members’ involvement in schools. It will address resource and infrastructure challenges. It will take up issues of learning, as well as the teaching and leadership needed for learning. And all this will be framed by the links between school and post-school opportunities.

Every generation has its struggle. Ours is the struggle for quality education. Studies of South African performance on international tests show educational achievement in South Africa is worse than in almost all other countries in the region. A fundamental conclusion of this research is that our schools are inefficient in turning education inputs into outputs – still a legacy of apartheid. Our struggle is simultaneously for equal education. In last year’s matric exams, at the school heralded as “the top state school” in the country, 165 matrics achieved 404 A symbols (excluding life orientation). But in Khayelitsha, just thirty kilometres away, 3228 matrics across 19 high schools achieved just 44 A symbols between them. This is a symbol of the work that must be done.



Join our struggle – come to The People’s Summit for Quality Education!

Together, we are already driving the largest mobilisation for quality and equal education for all since the advent of democracy. A few weeks ago, on Human Rights Day, 20 000 learners and allies marched to parliament for quality education for all. And in 2010, over 12 000 people participated in Human Rights Day marches across the country; over 5 000 fasted during the Fast for School Libraries; over 7 000 sent post-cards to political leaders calling for libraries and resources in schools; and over 60 000 signed the petition calling for 1 School 1 Library 1 Librarian.

Together, we will carry forward the campaign for quality and equal education in schools and communities across the country!

To apply and for information or comment:

Jon Hodgson – Summit Organiser: Equal Education

021 387 0022/3

072 345 6775


The summit is open to all, but places are limited, and the Steering Committee must ensure that regions and sectors are fairly represented. The Steering Committee reserves the right not to accept any application. The Summit Steering Committee is: Prof Mary Metcalfe (Chair), Dr Peliwe Lolwana, Moses Masitha, Brian Isaacs, Dr Jonathan Clark, Veronica Hofmeester, Gordon Inngs, Nyamkeo Qengqani, Rumbi Goredema, Thobile Nelani, Jon Hodgson, Yolanda Benya, Olwethu Matyesini.

Please donate to the summit. Contact Yoni Bass on or 072 200 0922