Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
27 August 2009

Book News: The Constitution in the Classroom

The Constitution in the Classroom: Law and Education in South Africa 1994 – 2008

Authors: Stu Woolman & Brahm Fleisch

About the publication:

The law on education and educational practices in South Africa would exhaust the capacity of any meaningful monograph. Instead, the authors of this book engage six discrete topics that refl ect the broader currents and conflicts in South African education debates: (a) school choice; (b) school fees; (c) the right to an adequate basic education; (d) single medium public schools; (e) school governing bodies; and (f) independent schools. The book has two further aims. First: To move beyond the debates taking place separately in the education policy community and the legal academy, and to demonstrate how these disciplines, working in concert with each other, can advance our understanding of law and education in South Africa. Second: To show that the ANC’s complex education agenda must mirror the egalitarian, utilitarian, democratic, and communitarian commitments found within the Constitution. How these competing political claims refl ected in our basic law play themselves out in the enabling education legislation, the case law and government education policy, frames each topic assayed in this work.

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