Wednesday 22 May

14 September 2022, Johannesburg – Today, SECTION27 launches its second edition of the Basic Education Rights Handbook online. The Handbook serves as a legal literacy tool to empower various stakeholders in the education sector, including school governing bodies, principals, teachers, learners and communities. It is a valuable resource for understanding education law and policy. It aims to assist users to identify violations of learners’ rights and outlines the steps required to protect and enforce their rights. The first edition was used widely within the school community. It has also been used as a teaching resource in different universities and has also been cited in a high court judgment.

The poor state of basic education in South Africa is characterised by obstacles that hinder the realisation of quality education for all learners. These include austerity cuts to basic education budgeting, poor infrastructure, shortages of well-trained educators, lack of access to learning materials, discrimination against vulnerable learners such as learners living with disabilities and migrant learners, violence in schools and other obstacles outlined in the second edition of the Basic Education Rights Handbook. The case studies highlighted in the Handbook show how the law can support various struggles to realise the right to education.

Since the first edition of the Basic Education Rights Handbook in 2017, key developments in areas of education law and policy and education rights activism have continued to advance, necessitating an update. In addition, two new topics were identified for inclusion in this edition, namely ‘Learner Admissions’ and ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education’.

The Handbook is a result of collaboration between civil-society organisations involved in education rights activism, litigation and advocacy. These include Equal Education Law Centre, Equal Education, The Centre for Child Law, The Legal Resources Centre and the International Commission of Jurists. SECTION27 wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the contributions of each author and partner in this edition.

The Handbook seeks to strengthen learners, educators, activists and policymakers in their fight for educational reform.

The school community and other stakeholders can access the latest edition of the Basic Education Rights Handbook online here or contact SECTION27 for hard copies via email:

For media queries, contact: 

Patience Phiri ( 072 992 8380)

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