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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Court Battle To Force Basic Education Department To Feed 9 Million Learners Set For Thursday

NYAKALLO TEFU

EQUAL Education (EE) and two Limpopo schools are heading to the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday in a bid to have nine million learners receive their daily meals through the government’s National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). 

This comes after the Department of Basic Education failed to deliver on its promise to run the school feeding scheme during the COVID-19 induced lockdown. 

Represented by the Equal Education Law Centre and SECTION27, EE and the two Limpopo schools are asking the court for a declaratory order that there is a duty on government to ensure that all learners who qualify for the NSNP benefit receive their meals, regardless of whether their grades returned to schools on June 8 or not.   

“It is shameful that the national and provincial education departments must be dragged to court to ensure the delivery of school meals. The NSNP is fundamental to supporting the ability of children to learn and crucial to the right to basic education,” said EE in a statement.   

Basic Education Department made a promise that all provinces would roll-out meals to all qualifying learners from June, but this has not happened. 

“Nothing has materialized from these promises from the DBE, so our legal team in consultation with them and their responses have led us to going ahead with the litigation for the court hearing on Thursday,” said EE’s Tad Khosa.

The organizations said in Limpopo learners in Grade 7 and Grade 12 are not able to receive a meal at all.

(Compiled by Inside Education staff)

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