EE vows to keep an eye on schools to ensure dept complies with nutrition ruling

Equal Education approached the courts with an urgent application against the Department of Basic Education and eight provincial education MECs after it found the department was in breach of a previous court order granted a year ago.

FILE: A pupil receives a meal at Kgato Primary School in Bloemfontein. Picture: Department of Basic Education/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Equal Education has claimed victory after this week's High Court judgment that ordered education officials to develop new plans to feed over nine million learners dependent on the National School Nutrition Programme.

This applies even when schools are closed due to COVID-19 or when pupils are at home because of rotating timetables.

READ MORE: Equal Eduaction welcomes court ruling forcing dept to feed pupils

Equal Education approached the courts with an urgent application against the Department of Basic Education and eight provincial education MECs after it found that the department was in breach of a previous court order granted a year ago.

Millions of households across the country have had their food security compromised during the COVID-19 lockdown and more recently during incidents of violence and looting.

Equal Education members have vowed to keep a close eye on schools to ensure that each learner who qualified, received a meal through the National School Nutrition Programme.

The organisation said that the mental, physical and financial impact that a lack of food security has had on learners and their families, over the past few months, was tragic and unacceptable.

It added that the situation was becoming increasingly urgent as qualifying learners were unable to get meals because of barriers like not having access to scholar transport.

Equal Education said that in response to its return to court, legal representatives of the national and provincial education departments proposed a legal settlement be negotiated. This agreement contained clear commitments for the existing systems for the delivery of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) to be revised, and for reasonable timeframes for implementation.

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