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The Fate of School Libraries: Equal Education Responds

Library cartEqual Education has issued a response to a controversial statement by the Department of Education that goals to provide wider access to libraries are unattainable because of South Africa’s legacy of poverty and illiteracy. The EE argues that this is the denial of the basic right to education and they are calling on all to join in their worthy campaign.

Look out for events like the recent Walk for School Libraries which took place in September.

Equal Education (EE) strongly rejects and condemns the recent claim by the Department of Education (DoE) that providing decent functional school libraries is “unattainable”. This is a denial of the right to basic education to which every person is entitled, and a violation of the rights to equality and human dignity. EE calls on Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga to distance herself, and the DoE, from this statement.

Ms. Hope Mokgatlhe, DoE spokesperson, commented on 30 November 2009 in The Teacher, a supplement of the Mail & Guardian that “A stand-alone library for every school would be unattainable, given the historical neglect of this.” She also stated that “the department has focused on trying to ensure access to resources in a practical and implementable way. This involves creating and improving classroom library collections, mobile libraries, resources for schools in community libraries and stand-alone libraries that serve a cluster of schools.”


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    December 28th, 2009 @22:00 #

    Perhaps publishers could help out (and get a nifty charitable tax break) by donating books left over from initial print runs rather than pulping them.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    December 29th, 2009 @22:32 #

    With you there, Lauren. Given that I'm in cynical mode, I'm not surprised the DoE doesn't consider libraries in schools a priority. Hell, it doesn't even consider education a priority as far as I can see. And for the love of Mike, when are we going to see VAT on books dropped?


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