Children’s rights and education

Dependent children have no rights.  Is this the reason for this, the forgotten schools of the Eastern Cape????  After all, the common denominator between the opinion and the state of Eastern Cape Schools seems to be one person, The Eastern Cape’s minister of education Mandla Makupula.  Admittedly he has only been the MEC for education since November 2010 but surely he would have had the opportunity in the two years or so to focus on those poor forgotten schools.  It’s difficult not to connect the dots.

The EC Department of Education have defended the minister, saying the remarks were taken out of context, but even a liberal reading of this explanation isn’t enough to vindicate the remarks.  Children have rights, in the home in the school and in society at large.  They also have duties, such as to learn to be responsible citizens, responsible pupils and responsible family members, responsible friends and  community members, but to say they have no rights, in any context at all, is unforgivable, and indicates a particular mindset that some adults have, a mindset that is unacceptable  and worrying in a minister of government who is as influential and responsible for the rights of children as is the E.C.  minister of education.

In many countries, a remark like that would have signaled the end of a political career.  But in South Africa, government and party members rush to his defense.

More and more Direct Democracy Forum strategists see the need for a bottom up approach.  As a priority but not to the exclusion of all else, fix the worst schools, the worst clinics, the worst hospitals in the land and when they are working as they should, then give some attention to improving the lot of better run institutions.  But the picture painted by the forgotten schools report clearly cannot continue.  See DDF education policies.

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