500 signatures reached
To: Minister of Basic Education - Angie Motshekga
24hrs left to add your name! Release the Norms and Standards Progress Reports
This campaign has ended.
We, the undersigned, demand that the Minister release the progress reports showing how the Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure have been implemented. No progress reports have been made public since the Norms and Standards were published, even though Provincial Education Departments are required to produce these every year.
We further demand that the Minister fixes loopholes in the Norms and Standards by:
- Removing the section which says the DBE cannot be held accountable if other parts of government don't help out.
- Expanding the schools which must be replaced within the first timeframe of three years from those made "entirely" of inappropriate materials, to schools "substantially" built from inappropriate materials.
- Changing the legal requirement from one that "prioritises" schools in need, to a requirement to actually fix those schools.
- Creating a legal requirement in the Norms to make the progress reports public.
We demand that the Minister does this in time for the first Norms and Standards deadline of 29 November 2016.
Why is this important?
After a concerted struggle by learners, parents, teachers and community members across the country, the Minister of Basic Education released Minimum Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure in late 2013. These provide a blueprint for what makes a school a school, by defining the basic infrastructure every school needs, and setting out deadlines for when this must be provided.
The first deadline is on 29 November 2016. By this time:
- All schools made of mud, asbestos, metal or wood must be replaced by new schools.
- Schools with no water, electricity or sanitation must be provided with these.
In our work, we continue to encounter schools without these basics. It's clear that the Norms and Standards will not be met: by the Department of Basic Education's (DBE) own statistics, as of June 2016, 171 schools have no water supply, 569 schools have no electricity, and 68 schools have no toilets. The public deserves to know what has, and has not, been done to implement the Norms. The DBE must be held accountable! This is why we need the progress reports.
Norms and Standards have the power to change education in South Africa. But they are not perfect - they have loopholes which make it difficult for communities to hold the DBE accountable. Equal Education has asked the Minister to fix these problems for two years, but she has not listened. So, we are taking her to court.
But it doesn't need to be like this. The Minister has the power to review and amend Norms and Standards. She must fix the loopholes.