Thousands march in Khayelitsha for minimum norms and standards

(pic courtesy South Africa Good News)

Yesterday over 2,000 learners joined Equal Education's (EE) Human Rights Day march for minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure. The march was the culmination of 10 Days of Action that had occurred in schools across the country, following the announcement that EE has launched a court case against the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga.

Learners gathered at the Manyanani Peace Park, in Khayelitsha. They were addressed by members of EE and learners from the community. Yoliswa Dwane, head of Policy, Communication and Research, explained the importance of minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure to learners before the march: "Without quality and equal education in South Africa your future will not be bright. We have to reject unequal education in South Africa. The right to a basic education cannot be seen as separate from the conditions under which learners are taught. Without a uniform standard across the country for school infrastructure South Africa's education system, and the learners it produces, will continue to be defined by historical inequality.'

School infrastructure is a vital component of a basic education. At present schools are not required by law to have functioning libraries, effective sanitation facilities, well stocked laboratories or even safe classrooms. Minister Motshekga has herself recognised that school infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, is in an appalling state. Almost 3,600 schools do not have electricity. In KZN alone over 600 schools have no toilet facilities. 92% of schools do not have a functioning library and in the Eastern Cape there are still 395 mud schools.

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(This story is courtesy of South Africa Good News. Used with permission. Visit them at http://www.sagoodnews.co.za)