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Basic Education Dept to appear in court over school feeding programme

1 July 2020 5:28 PM
Tags:
Equal Education
National School Nutrition Programme
pupils
DBE
school feeding schemes

Equal Education (EE) wants the court to compel the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to feed all learners, not only those back at school.

The advocacy group will appear in the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday in a bid to ensure that all pupils are fed - even those who haven't yet returned to school.

More than 9 million children qualify for the school nutrition programme across South Africa.

RELATED: Schools aren't ready for second phase of reopening, says Naptosa

EE's general secretary Noncedo Madubedube says the DBE's National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) has failed to provide meals to all learners.

The advocacy group is taking legal action against Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and provincial Education MECs of education, except for the Western Cape.

Apupil receives a meal at Kgato Primary School in Bloemfontein. Picture: Department of Basic Education/Twitter

Madubedube says most schools in the Western Cape have been compliant in providing daily meals to all grades, except for a schools in areas such as Khayelitsha and Delft.

She believes that the national department has been disingenuous about the implementation of the NSNP across the board, only springing to action once EE launched its court challenge.

EE wants the court to issue a declaratory order stating that there is a duty on the government to ensure that meals are provided to all learners who qualify to benefit from the NSNP, regardless of whether they are back at school.

EE also wants the DBE to be held accountable in terms of implementation dates and detailed progress reports to be filed with the court.

The chief respondents to our urgent court application have been the other eight provinces where we knew for sure that not a single leaner that wasn't in grade 7 and grade 12 was receiving a meal during this time.

Noncedo Madubedube, General Secretary - Equal Education

What we are asking the Department of Basic Education for across the country is an adequate, concise, and clear plan on how they plan to roll out the school nutrition programme.

Noncedo Madubedube, General Secretary - Equal Education

We're also asking for a declarator, which allows for oversight from the court on how this programme is going to roll out.

Noncedo Madubedube, General Secretary - Equal Education

Most provinces have not sent out a communication to parents to say children can come and collect food.

Noncedo Madubedube, General Secretary - Equal Education

We're concerned about the department's fumble with protecting the right to basic education, we believe nutrition and equality integral to the right of education for children.

Noncedo Madubedube, General Secretary - Equal Education

Listen to the update on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


1 July 2020 5:28 PM
Tags:
Equal Education
National School Nutrition Programme
pupils
DBE
school feeding schemes

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