This Bill was published in the Government Gazette dated 15th February 2019 [see General Notice 292/2019].
The official explanatory memorandum published with the Bill commences as follows:
EDUCATION AMENDMENT BILL, 2019
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.