SECTION27 together with the Department of Basic Education will release the report on the verification of textbook delivery in Limpopo conducted by Professor Mary Metcalfe and her verification team at 12h45 today, Monday 16th July, at SECTION27’s offices: 6th Floor, Braamfontein Centre, 23 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein.
On 12 July 2012, the Eastern Cape High Court will hear an application brought by the Legal Resources Centre on behalf of the Centre for Child Law and the governing bodies of five schools in the Eastern Cape Province. The application relates to the failure by the Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education and the National Department of Basic Education to implement the 2012 post establishment in public schools in the Eastern Cape. SECTION27, acting on behalf of the National Association of School Governing Bodies, has applied for leave to intervene as amicus curiae in this application. The focus of our intervention is the obligations arising from the National Department’s intervention in the Provincial Department in terms of section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution, following failed attempts at collaboration and co-operation with the Provincial Department.
The DBE and Section 27 have agreed that Prof. Mary Metcalfe will lead an independent verification of the progress reports relating to delivery of textbooks to
schools in Limpopo. This is necessary both in order to assess the state of delivery of the current textbooks, and to provide recommendations that will assist in future years. The verification exercise will focus on learning materials to learners in grades one, two, three and 10 in Limpopo.
SECTION27 and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) held a press conference today, 28 June 2012, regarding the delivery of textbooks to Limpopo learners and compliance with the court order and settlement agreement coming out of SECTION27’s litigation against the DBE and the Limpopo Department of Education. SECTION27 is calling for an independent verification of the report that textbooks have been delivered. Read SECTION27’s full press statement by clicking “read more” below.
On 21 June 2012, representatives of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and SECTION27 met to try to resolve the ongoing challenge of availability of textbooks to learners in Limpopo and compliance with the court order of Judge Kollapen, which was delivered on 17 May 2012. The parties reached a settlement agreement, a summary of which can be read by clicking “read more” below.
It is now hours away from the agreed-upon deadline for the delivery of textbooks to schools throughout Limpopo. SECTION27 is concerned that the Department of Basic Education will not meet its deadline, but we do not have sufficient information or means of verification to say whether it will complete the delivery of textbooks today.
On 22 June 2012, SECTION27, the Legal Resources Centre, the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, the Centre for Child Law, Equal Education and the Equal Education Law Centre sent an open letter to the Minister of Basic Education. In this letter we detailed our concerns about the barriers to quality basic education and the urgent need to address the lapses in the administration of education. We requested an urgent meeting with the Minister in order to discuss a way forward.
Today representatives of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and SECTION27 met to try to resolve the ongoing challenge of availability of textbooks to learners in Limpopo and compliance with the court order of Judge Kollapen, which was delivered on 17 May 2012. The case was brought by SECTION27, Hanyani Thomo Secondary School and Mrs Lydia Masiphephethu. The parties agreed that all textbooks would be delivered to all schools by 27 June 2012 and that the DBE will develop a plan for extra tuition and support for learners and teachers to remedy the effects of the lack of textbooks for half of the academic year.
This week a task team made up of leaders of the National Association of School Governing Bodies and SECTION27 visited schools in three districts in Limpopo; Vhembe, Mopani and Capricorn. The purpose of the visit was to meet with members of SGBs, learners, teachers and school principals to report back on the May 17th judgment of the Pretoria High Court and to assess compliance with the Court’s Order, as well as to discuss other aspects of the deepening crisis in education in Limpopo.
SECTION27, the National Association of School Governing Bodies and Khulumani Support Group will be holding a community and media briefing on 15 June 2012 to report back on compliance by the Department of Basic Education and the Limpopo Department of Education with the court order relating to the delivery of textbooks to schools across Limpopo and the implementation of a catch-up plan.