|2012 06 04 Press Release: Centre for Child Law takes Department of Education to court over post provisioning|
On Thursday 31 May 2012, the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) filed an application in the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown to compel the Department of Basic Education to fully implement the 2012 post provisioning in public schools in the province.
Post provisioning is the process that determines how many educators are allocated to specific schools and ultimately determines which leaners are taught by which educators, and how many educators will be allocated to each school.
The LRC is acting on behalf of the Centre for Child Law (CCL), the governing bodies of four Eastern Cape schools and the Bethelsdorp SGB Unit, which represents 17 schools in Northern Areas, Port Elizabeth. The respondents are the Minister, the Director-General, the Eastern Cape MEC and the Head of Department of Basic Education in the Eastern Cape.
In her founding affidavit, Ann Skelton, the director of the CCL, says the application seeks to address the government’s failure to implement the 2012 educator post provisioning in the Eastern Cape and also asks that the 2013 post provisioning be declared by 30 September 2012 and implemented in full by 30 December 2012.
“The EC department’s failure to implement the 2012 post provisioning has led to many schools being placed in a situation of crisis and financial peril. The individual schools have taken steps to fill substantive vacant educator posts at their own expense, or relying on emergency donations from parents.
“Some of the individual schools are unable to pay additional educators and as such many leaners are wholly without a teacher and have not received tuition this year,” Skelton said.
For many years now, the Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education has been plagued by a series of problems which have led to its inability to deliver basic services, including ensuring teaching and learning at schools. Consequently, this has led to a litany of court cases against the department.
This is the third large application against the Department of Education in 2012. The LRC has in 2012 already represented Save Our Schools and Community and the Catholic Institute for Education in an urgent application to compel the state to fully implement the section 100 (1) (b) intervention in Eastern Cape education. In another matter, the LRC acts for Equal Education which seeks to compel the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga to prescribe minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure.
Sarah Sephton, the regional director of the LRC in Grahamstown said:
“We urge the minister to sit down and have a conversation with NGO’s litigating against the Department in effort to ensure that learners’ rights to a basic education are met. Meaningful conversation could lead to all the parties working together rather than fighting for basic rights in the Courts.
“We need to talk with the minister so that we can find ways of solving these issues without having to constantly resort to litigation. It is time consuming.”
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The LRC is an independent, non-profit, public interest law clinic, which uses law as an instrument of justice to provide legal services for the vulnerable.
The CCL was established by the University of Pretoria and its main objective is to promote child law and uphold the rights of children in South Africa, within an international and regional context.