South Africa is in the unique posi­tion of hav­ing the right to edu­ca­tion guar­an­teed in the Con­sti­tu­tion. The law has been used to advance this right by trans­lat­ing what is on paper into a real­ity for thou­sands of learn­ers across the coun­try. The LRC and part­ners have been at the fore­front of civil soci­ety efforts in achiev­ing this. We wanted to share our suc­cesses.

In Octo­ber 2013, the Legal Resources Cen­tre was proud to launch Ready to Learn? A Legal Resource for Real­is­ing the Right to Edu­ca­tion at the Open Soci­ety Foun­da­tions in New York (find the press release here). The book was designed for legal prac­ti­tion­ers and shares the LRC’s legal efforts to con­tribute to real­is­ing the right to edu­ca­tion in South Africa. Ready to Learn?

Fight­ing to Learn… A Legal Resource for Real­is­ing the Right to Edu­ca­tion is the fol­low on from Ready to Learn? Using the same for­mat as the first pub­li­ca­tion,Fight­ing to Learn… gives an update on many of the cases rep­re­sented in Ready to Learn? and pro­vides a more gen­eral reflec­tion on the role of edu­ca­tion in the devel­op­ment agenda.

In Fight­ing to Learn…, prac­ti­tion­ers of law in other juris­dic­tions can access a sum­mary and court papers relat­ing to the pro­vi­sion of class­room fur­ni­ture, access to learner-support mate­r­ial and the pay­ment and appoint­ment of teach­ers. It also gives follow-up mate­ri­als for the “mud schools” mat­ter and norms and stan­dards for edu­ca­tion.

It demon­strates how the Con­sti­tu­tional right to edu­ca­tion was inte­gral to our fight for a qual­ity edu­ca­tion that is acces­si­ble to all. It also demon­strates the cre­ativ­ity of LRC lawyers in their work, from using class actions, which is new in South Africa, to our increas­ing use of inno­v­a­tive reme­dies, such as using exter­nal admin­is­tra­tors to imple­ment court judg­ments.

 

In South Africa, SECTION27 has used rights-based strategies, including litigation, to hold the state accountable for not ensuring the procurement and delivery of textbooks to schools across Limpopo, a poor rural area of the country.