Barefoot pupils to protest outside court for school transport
Education advocacy groups are expected to take their fight for quality and reliable state-funded scholar transport to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.
For months‚ Equal Education has squared off against the KZN departments of education and transport - and NGO Section27 has applied to be admitted as a friend of the court.
The court action comes after the groups highlighted the plight of school children in rural reaches of the province‚ who have to walk long distances to school.
According to a statement issued by Equal Education‚ learners are expected to line the streets outside the court.
“Learners will be holding an action outside the court by removing their school shoes and picketing barefoot‚ in protest against being forced to walk dangerously long distances to access an education‚” it said.
They hold that scholar transport is a crucial component of the right to basic education.
“For over two years we have been working to secure access to scholar transport for 12 schools in Nquthu in northern KZN‚” the NGO said.
“Learners from these 12 schools‚ in KZN generally‚ and in other parts of the country must walk extremely long distances to their classrooms. They are vulnerable to extreme weather and violent crime‚ and arrive at their classrooms late and unable to focus.”