Ground-breaking South African Judgment on the Right to a Basic Education
On Thursday 20 February, Judge Glenn Goosen of the South African High Court declared that the South African government’s failure to provide basic furniture to schools across the Eastern Cape Province was in violation of learners’ right to a basic education under the South African Constitution. He further ordered the government to provide adequate furniture by 31 May. A 2011 audit revealed that over 600,000 children in the province lacked access to basic furniture, forcing many to stand or squat on the floor. This is arguably the most significant judgment yet on the right to a basic education, both because of its far-reaching order and its important pronouncements on the nature and content of the right.