This High Court case deals with the constitutional obligation of the South African government to promote basic education by securing timely appointment and funding of educators at all public schools.
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.
This case involves the interpretation of the scope of the constitutional right in South Africa to basic education and in particular whether the provision of school textbooks to all basic education learners for the whole academic year is an essential component of this right.
There has been renewed and amplified interest in learning outcomes as a tool for improving quality of education – an issue of central focus in the Post-2015 discussions. There are numerous learning outcomes assessment tools and methodologies. However, missing from the debates is a human rights perspective. This briefing document, Learning Outcomes Assessments: A Human Rights Perspective, seeks to highlight the key human rights principles that should inform education policies on learning outcomes to ensure that these tools are used to promote quality education that develops the child’s personalities, talents, and abilities to live a full and satisfying life within society. It also provides recommendations to policy-makers to ensure that education policies on learning outcomes adhere to human rights standards.
Aimed at actively engaging parents, children, teachers, unions, communities and local civil society organisations in collectively monitoring and improving the quality of public education PRS offers a set of practical tools that can be used as a basis for mobilisation, advocacy and campaigning. The pack provides four key resources:
1) A charter of 10 rights which, when fulfilled, will enable all children to complete a good quality education;
2) A participatory methodology for: using the charter; collecting, analysing and using data; and consolidating information into ‘citizens reports’ that could be used for the development of Action Plans or to encourage discussions and reviews at local, district and national levels;
3) A series of education- and rights-based indicators organised in a survey format to enable users to capture information in a systematic manner;
4) A compilation of key international human rights references providing the foundations and legitimacy of the charter and reports
PRS builds on education and human rights frameworks to describe an ideal school that offers quality education. Its methodology supports links between programme work at the school level and advocacy and policy efforts in national and international forums. The process is as important as the outcome: it is only through engaging all stakeholders in the process - from developing the charter to collecting and analysing the data and debating the findings - that we will promote greater awareness of what needs to change and how.