JOURNAL OF UWC FACULTY OF LAW | ISSN 2077-4907 | Short URL www.ldd.org.za

The South African Constitution’s empty promise of ‘radical transformation’: Unequal access to quality education for black and/or poor learners in the public basic education system, pgs 100-147

Volume: Volume 23 - 2019

Article type: Refereed article

Author/s: Arendse, Lorette

The South African Constitution mandates the radical transformation of the public basic education system. To that end, the Constitution, read with the South African Schools Act, entrenches a right of equal access to quality basic education for all. The substantive approach to equality, rooted in the transformative ideology of the Constitution, necessitates an acknowledgment and overcoming of the past patterns of disadvantage, based primarily on the grounds of race and socio-economic class.

Locating her analysis in ‘quality education’ in the United Nations Report, ‘Normative action for quality education’, the author finds that the definition of ‘quality education’ involves a holistic approach which encompasses learners’ level of academic achievement, the provision of an adequate school infrastructure, a well-qualified teaching profession, and schools that embrace a substantive form of democracy. In examining each of these indicators, the emergence of a pattern is clear: for black and/or poor South African learners in the public school domain, disadvantage manifests in an unequal access to quality education.

About the author/s

Lorette Arendse

Lorette Arendse is a senior lecturer in the Law Faculty at the University of Pretoria. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2113-6279

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