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South Africa: Court orders Eastern Cape Education Department to deliver all textbooks by end of March

Judge rules failure to deliver violates Constitution

The High Court in Grahamstown has ordered the Eastern Cape Department of Education to supply all outstanding textbooks and stationery to public schools in the province by March 30.

The order was issued by Judge Murray Lowe on Tuesday afternoon.

Late last month, the Legal Resource Center (LRC), representing the educational organization Khula Community Development Project and children and parents across the province, presented the urgent request to the court. It came after the Eastern Cape Department of Basic Education failed to provide textbooks and school supplies to more than 3,000 schools in the province due to “unprecedented budget shortfalls”.

The department wanted to give itself until the end of April for the delivery of textbooks.

The court found that the department’s failure to provide textbooks and school supplies to all public schools in the Eastern Cape by the start of the January 19 school year was unconstitutional. The judge also found that the plan to deliver the textbooks by May 2022 was also unconstitutional.

The Department of Education must submit an affidavit within seven days notifying the court and applicants of progress.

The affidavit should contain the name of each school in the province that has not yet received all textbooks and stationery, as well as exact details of what is still needed for each school. The affidavit must also contain the dates when the materials will be delivered to these schools.

If the LRC and education activists are not satisfied with the progress made in the submitted affidavit, they may file an affidavit within ten days of the department’s report.

The order also directs the Provincial Department of Education to submit another affidavit by September 30, 2022 to show progress in planning to ensure that “every pupil in every school in the Eastern Cape receives the full set of stationery and textbooks before the start of the 2023 school year”.

The ministry was ordered to pay the legal costs.

South Africa: Court orders Eastern Cape Education Department to deliver all textbooks by end of March

Source link South Africa: Court orders Eastern Cape Education Department to deliver all textbooks by end of March

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