The State's duty to realise the Right to Education in a culturally diverse classroom
In terms of section 29(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereinafter referred to as the Constitution), ''everyone has the right to basic education''. This dissertation investigates whether the state fulfils its obligation to protect the child's constitutional right to basic education without infringing on the child's right to religion and culture. The study further investigates whether the cultural and religious diversity of schoolchildren gives rise to a disregard of their religious and cultural needs. While investigating the aforesaid, it became clear that the best interest principle as well as the child's right to equality, which is provided for in section 9 of the Constitution, play important roles when the child's right to education is being realised. This is discussed in the dissertation. To evaluate discrimination against children in a culturally diverse classroom, it is mandatory to look at what the right to basic education entails and what obligations this right places on the state ? more specifically on the Department of Basic Education - when it comes to promoting the right to basic education, while protecting children's other constitutional rights. South Africa has ratified a number of international instruments and some of these international instruments are looked at to determine what the scope of the right basic to education. Specific reference is made to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Case law where the right to education was adjudicated is discussed, as are the obligation of the state and the limiting of the right to basic education.
- Law