The international legal framework regarding the accessibility of infrastructure for physically disabled learners at public schools in South Africa
Nunes, Nacinda Louise
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According to Section 29(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 everyone is entitled to and has the right to basic education. "Everyone” includes disabled learners. The international framework regarding the right to basic education and the accessibility of the infrastructure for physically disabled learners in public schools was examined to determine whether or not South Africa complies with the formalities and obligations prescribed and what the implications are, if the state does not comply. To reach the purpose of the above statement made there has to be determined which legislation is applicable to disabled learners and a definition needs to be provided for the term „physical disability‟ (Chapter 1). Secondly the core of the research question concealed in the above statement and its applicable articles will be discussed as seen in General Comment No. 13 of the International Covenant on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Chapter 2). Thereafter international legislation will be discussed with the focus on basic education, disability, the accessibility of the infrastructure and the obligations placed on the state (Chapter 3 and 4). The focus will then be moved to the regional framework and the provision made with regards to the right to basic education and disability (Chapter 5). The relevant constitutional sections will then be investigated before reaching a conclusion. The sections that will be taken into account are sections 7, 9, 28, 29, 36, 39 and 233 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The purpose of the investigation of the constitutional sections is to determine what basic education entails and if there is a uniform definition thereof. A further purpose with the investigation of the constitutional provisions is to determine whether there is an infringement of disabled learners„ rights to equality and to basic education. Another purpose is to determine to which extent South African schools are accessible to disabled learners in the provision of infrastructure of school buildings as it is now and the obligation that rests on the state to adapt the infrastructure (Chapter 6). After the discussion of the above mentioned chapters a conclusion will be reached on to what extent the state complies with its constitutional and international obligations to realize disabled children„s right to basic education can be come to (Chapter 7). The inaccessibility of public school buildings in South Africa and disabled children„s need for basic education has led to the research question.
- Law