Education video makes waves for taking on Angie

Minimum norms and standards will offer binding standards for school infrastructure. (Gillian Benjamin)

Minimum norms and standards will offer binding standards for school infrastructure. (Gillian Benjamin)

A new video by non-governmental organisation Equal Education is causing waves on social media, as it succinctly summarises the crisis facing schools in South Africa, and their plans to take Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to court.

In March this year Equal Education took Motshekga to court in an attempt to force her to set standards for school infrastructure for South Africa's more than 24 000 schools.

Their case will be heard on November 20 in the Bhisho High Court.

The minimum norms and standards the organisation is fighting for will put the power into the hands of communities, it says, by giving them a definition and binding standards for school infrastructure by which to hold government to account.

With these standards, communities can demand the toilets, classrooms, running water, and electricity at schools pupils deserve.

The organisation's research shows that more than 3 500 of South African schools do not have electricity supply, 11 450 use pit latrine toilets and 2 402 lack a water supply.

More than 22 000 schools do not have adequate computer facilities, an even greater number (23 552) lack stocked science laboratories and more than 90% do not have functional libraries, Equal Education said.

The video is the latest salvo from an organisation that has made a name for itself with its innovative activism to draw attention to its cause.

Previous protest actions included marching wearing a mask of Motshekga's face, and getting children to create mud drawing of the mud huts they must learn in.

The department of basic education was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.

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Victoria John
Verashni Pillay

Victoria John

Victoria studied journalism, specialising in photojournalism, at Rhodes University from 2004 to 2007. After traveling around the US and a brief stint in the UK she did a year's internship at The Independent on Saturday in Durban. She then worked as a reporter for the South African Press Association for a year before joining the Mail & Guardian as an education reporter in August 2011.
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  • Verashni Pillay

    Verashni Pillay is the editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian. She grew up in Laudium, Pretoria, learned her trade at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, spent a spell in Cape Town as an online journalist, and now loves living in Jozi. Her interests are broad but include a focus on politics and multi-platform story-telling.
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