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.
This practical toolkit on the right to education was published by Amnesty International in collaboration with the Right to Education Initiative. It is part of the Haki Zetu handbook series on economic, social and cultural rights, developed by the Special Programme on Africa of Amnesty International Netherlands.
It contains sections on understanding the right to education and on taking action, with a particular focus on Africa – providing concrete examples at national and regional levels and reference to relevant laws and policies. It is to be used in conjunction with the Main Book of the series, which provides general information on ESC rights.
Both the Main Book and the practical toolkit on the Right to Education have been developed for local civil society organisations working with local communities to realise the right to education. The tool seeks to assist community workers to better study laws and policies and promote the monitoring of the right to education.