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Mud Schools

 
Mud Schools

Pur­pose of Lit­i­ga­tion

“… a mea­sure of our human­ity is inex­tri­ca­bly related to how we treat our chil­dren. Apartheid tried to rob us of our human­ity. By con­demn­ing every black child to a life of depri­va­tion, they sought to deprive us of our dig­nity… Every­one involved in edu­ca­tion has a respon­si­bil­ity to restore the human­ity and dig­nity in the way we treat our chil­dren.” (Pro­fes­sor Kader Asmal, for­mer Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion, 2000)

Thou­sands of learn­ers across the coun­try attend school in dilap­i­dated and unsafe build­ings with inad­e­quate san­i­ta­tion, lim­ited access to water and insuf­fi­cient desks and chairs. The prob­lem is par­tic­u­larly acute in the East­ern Cape where over 395 ‘mud schools’ remain in exis­tence. There is no doubt that these con­di­tions are a sys­tem­atic denial of the fun­da­men­tal rights to a basic edu­ca­tion, dig­nity, safety and secu­rity and equal­ity guar­an­teed by the South African Con­sti­tu­tion.

On 4 Feb­ru­ary 2011, the Legal Resources Cen­tre con­cluded a land­mark set­tle­ment on behalf of seven mud schools in the Libodes dis­trict in the East­ern Cape. As part of the set­tle­ment, the national Depart­ment of Basic Edu­ca­tion has com­mit­ted to spend R8,2 bil­lion from 1 April 2011 to 1 March 2014 to erad­i­cate mud schools and to improve infra­struc­ture in schools through­out South Africa. This included an under­tak­ing to con­struct per­ma­nent build­ings for the seven schools and to pro­vide basic ser­vices. In addi­tion, the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion under­took to pro­vide the schools with tem­po­rary pre­fab­ri­cated class­rooms, water tanks and suf­fi­cient desks and chairs.

This web por­tal pro­vides more infor­ma­tion on the case, pro­files of the seven schools and reg­u­lar updates on the progress of the con­struc­tion work. Take a look around, learn more, donate and join us in the strug­gle to improve con­di­tions in South Africa’s schools.
 

Links:

Recent progress reports:

  • Report from the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion on the con­struc­tion of tem­po­rary class­rooms.
  • Report from the national Depart­ment of Basic Edu­ca­tion on plans for the con­struc­tion of per­ma­nent schools.

Fur­ni­ture Short­ages

This lit­i­ga­tion seeks to (a) com­pel the Min­is­ter of Basic Edu­ca­tion, Angie Mot­shekga, and the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion to pro­vide fur­ni­ture to the co-applicant schools within two months; and (b) ask for a new inde­pen­dent audit to be done and fur­ni­ture pro­vided to all those schools in the province need­ing fur­ni­ture within three months of the updated audit being com­pleted. The mat­ter is sched­uled to be heard  on Thurs­day 29 Novem­ber 2012 at the East­ern Cape High Court in Mthatha. The Legal Resources Cen­tre (LRC) is act­ing on behalf of the Cen­tre for Child Law (CCL) and par­ents from three East­ern Cape schools. 

The three schools are Mpimbo Junior Sec­ondary School in Libode Dis­trict, Mbananga Junior Sec­ondary in Cozwa Phezuk­wana vil­lage out­side Mthatha, and Sirhudl­wini Junior Sec­ondary School in Mount Frere Dis­trict.
 

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