EE takes fight to court

IN ADDRESSING the infrastructural problems at public schools, Equal Education (EE) is demanding that the provincial and national government fix the  school infrastructureinfrastructural law in this regard

Members of Equal Education and learners picketed outside the Bhisho High Court last week to demand government to fix the infrastructural law Picture: SUPPLIED

.In a court case brought by the EE in presented a court case at the Bhisho High Court this week (Wednesday and Thursday), the organisation appealed  appealing to government to rectify fix the Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure law, the norms and standards after a heated round-table discussion at Forbes Grant High School in King William’s Town on Tuesday.

Eastern Cape EE head Luzuko Sidimba, head of Equal Education in the Eastern Cape, said although it was important to set up norms and standards for school infrastructure, government should commit to meeting the targets it had set itself.

“For the first time, the school infrastructure law (the Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure) was passed by Basic Education Minister  Angie Motshekga on 29 November 2013 after many pickets and demands.

“But the school infrastructure law is now also being used to avoid responsibility,” Sidimba said.

The EE #FixTheNorms campaign highlights the condition of schools and demands the department of higher education fix the loopholes and gaps in the norms.

Deputy director of the EE Law Centre, Daniel Linde said: “In the last three years, the number of schools that have no water has decreased by 1601. However, the number of schools that the NEIMS data classifies as having have an unreliable water supply has increased by 2350. The same pattern is true of electricity.

“This re-categorisation of schools from having no supply of water and electricity to having an unreliable supply suggests a number of possibilities: unreliable data, shifting definitions of what constitutes access to basic services, and incomplete or limited upgrades to basic services.

According to EE, in the last three years,  the number of schools with no water has decreased by 1601, and the National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) data classifies this as having have a water supply that has  increased by 2350. The same goes for electricity.

“This re-categorisation of schools from having no supply of water and electricity to having an unreliable supply suggests that a number of possibilities, which are an unreliable data, shifting definitions of what constitutes access to basic services, and incomplete or limited upgrades to basic services.” said deputy director of the EE Law Centre, Daniel Linde.

“How many more children could access dignified school environments, conducive to quality teaching and learning, if the infrastructure law was tightened?” Linde said.

“For how much longer must pupils  and teachers in these schools have to suffer?

“While every newly built school is a victory, there are still far too many schools that are in a crisis condition – constructed of mud, wood, asbestos, zinc,” the EE stated.

Use #FixTheNorms or #FixOurSchools to get updates on the Bhisho High Court

 

 

 

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