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Activists respond to Angie’s norms draftDate Released: Thu, 17 October 2013 15:10 +0200
At least four lobby groups across the country have called on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to review her recently drafted norms and standards for school buildings.
Rhodes University-based Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM), Section 27, Equal Education (EE) and the Centre for Child Law (CCL) made their submissions after a Government Gazette published last month by Mot department (DBE) requesting public comment on the draft regulations relating to minimum standards for public school infrastructure.
These four were the only ones seen by the Daily Dispatch out of a total of 22 submissions, according to the DBE. The deadline for submissions was last Friday, but the DBE gave Section 27 and EE special extension.
PSAM had formulated their submissions jointly with several schools in the Eastern Cape, while Section 27 worked with Limpopo schools and EE engaged schools in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Gauteng and Western Cape.
Yesterday, DBE director of communication and research Elijah Mhlanga said there had been positive feedback.
“We are busy processing the submissions and at this stage we are not in a position to say how many came from which province.
“All the submissions are being considered as part of the process of compiling a final draft, which will be published in November.
“We are not in a position to say what the issues are.”
But the Dispatch has learnt the four lobby groups want a review and raised concerns over lack of:
Detail on what type of materials will be used to build schools and who will build them;
Clarity on how funding for services will be aligned with budget cycles of national and provincial departments;
Specifics on how cooperation was going to be enforced between government departments to ensure provision of services;
Urgency to ensure that inappropriate structures will be eradicated;
Clear deadlines to monitor progress yearly; and
Clarity on a number of norms teacher: pupil ratios.
Lobby groups said the draft did not detail adequate resources for special and vocational schools.
The blanket 2023 final deadline for provision of norms and standards was
including slammed for having no short- and medium-term deadlines.
Their submissions also called for emergency cases to be fast-tracked, including eradication of mud and unsafe structures and provision of water and electricity.
PSAM education researcher Zukiswa Kota said the organisation made its submission last week.
She had not received feedback from DBE as yet. “We only received a receipt for our submission.”
PSAM said the Eastern Cape was one of three provinces most affected by poor education infrastructure and lack of enforceable basic standards.
An estimated 141 schools were estimated to be made of mud and a further 442 had been classified by the DBE as unsafe or inappropriate.
Section 27 attorney Nikki Stein said they made their submission on Tuesday after asking the department for an extension.
The EE and CCL, who spearheaded the campaign to have norms and standards set out with the assistance of the Legal Resource Centre, also made their submission on Tuesday.
They are insistent that all schools are brought into compliance with the required norms and standards.
By MSINDISI FENGU
Article Source: Daily Dispatch