Equal Education protests against proposed changes to school Act

The Equal Education organisation says the Basic Education Department’s proposed changes to the school Act, specifically the scrapping of deadlines for the provision of school infrastructure, ought to be rejected by the public.

Members of the organisation picketed outside the department’s offices in Pretoria to voice their unhappiness about the proposed amendments.

Using their school holidays for a just cause. These learners say their schooling environment is less than desirable due to a lack of proper infrastructure.

One protester says, “It is not a conducive environment at all because we facing situations where we don’t have the basic minimum that we are supposed to have.”

“We lack chairs in my school and the infrastructure is so poor to the point that sometimes we sit on the floor in my class,” adds another one.

To exacerbate matters, the Basic Education Department has proposed the scrapping of deadlines in the provision of school infrastructure.

The deadline for the proposal which is out for public comment is the end of this month.

Equal Education says if the proposal succeeds, there won’t be any accountability from the Basic Education department.

Equal Education Head of Research, Hopolang Selebalo explains, “The removal of the deadlines is basically quite a regressive move and it doesn’t recognise or acknowledge that according to our constitution the right to Basic Education is an immediately recognisable right so we don’t want to throw out timelines or completely remove timelines from a law that legislates what school infrastructure should look like and when learners should get school infrastructure by.”

Department spokesperson received Equal education’s memorandum of demands. Basic Education Department’s  Elijah Mhlanga says, “We are in the middle of a public participation process so right now we expect members of the public to give us input and this is one of those engagements where they’ve brought their input.”

Equal Education has appealed to the public to make submissions on the department’s proposals, which can be found on the government gazette.

VIDEO | Reaction to proposed basic education laws:

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