PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES SERIES 15/2019
Final Public Hearing on Education Amendment Bill:
Thursday 9th May at 8.30 am, at Parliament
The Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education will hold its final public consultations on the Education Amendment Bill (H. B. 1, 2019) in the National Assembly Chamber at Parliament on Thursday 9th May at 8.30 am.
The public, interested groups and organisations are invited to attend these consultations and make oral presentations to the Portfolio Committee.
Written submissions and correspondences are welcome and should be addressed as soon as possible to:
The Clerk of Parliament
Attention: Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education
P.O. Box CY 298
Submissions can also be made by email through email address firstname.lastname@example.org
The usual rules for attendance at public hearings apply, including the standard rule against attendance by anyone wearing military uniforms, signs of ranks, flags or badges and political party regalia. If attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament and remember that an ID or valid passport is required.
Telephone: 0242 700181-8,252936-50
Mr.A.M. Kunzwa (Senior Committee Clerk) Ext. 2053
Ms.T. Mutare (Principal Public Relations Officer) Ext. 2236
Fax: 0242 252935
Reminder about the Education Amendment Bill
The Bill was gazetted on 15th February 2019. It includes an official explanatory memorandum which commences as follows:
“The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Education Act [Chapter 25:04], to achieve the following principal objectives—
- the right to a basic State-funded education, including adult basic education, in respect of which the State is enjoined to take measures to progressively realise within the limits of the resources available to it (section 75 (1) (a) and (4) of the Constitution);
- the right to further education which the State is enjoined to make progressively available and accessible (section 75 (1)(b) of the Constitution);
- the importance of the best interests of the child (section 19 (1) of the Constitution), a child being a person under the age of 18 years (section 81 (1) of the Constitution);
- the rights of persons with disabilities to be provided with special facilities for their education and to State-funded education and training where necessary (section 83 (e) and (d) of the Constitution);
- the right to human dignity (section 51 of the Constitution);
- the right to freedom from physical or psychological torture or cruel or inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment (section 53 of the Constitution);
- the right to equality and non-discrimination (section 56 of the Constitution);
- the right to language and culture (section 63 of the Constitution) as read with section 6 of the Constitution which prescribes the officially recognised languages.
In brief therefore, the Bill amends various provisions of the Act so that it complies with these various provisions of the Constitution. It is essential to note that, because some of the rights are subject to the availability to the State of resources necessary to enable the enjoyment of the rights, the amendments have been couched so as to take this into account.
Similarly, it is also essential to take account of section 86 of the Constitution with respect to what extent legislation may limit any rights.”
Documents available on the Veritas website
- The full text of the Education Amendment Bill [link]
- The Constitution [link] – to enable readers to look up the sections of the Constitution with which the Bill is said to align the Education Act.
- The Education Act [link] – to enable readers to assess the Bill’s impact on the existing provisions of the Act.
- Bill Watch 20/2019 of 15th April [link] – for our detailed assessment of the Bill. Our conclusion was that, although it has several worthwhile provisions, the Bill is marred by omissions and errors that show a surprising lack of attention to detail – resulting in it being overall a flawed document.