n Acta Academica - The right to academic freedom in South African schools

Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0587-2405


The right to academic freedom is a contested one, often held to exist only in the context of tertiary education. However, the South African Constitution imposes no such restriction: Section 16(1)(d) declares that everyone has the right to academic freedom. This article presents and seeks to substantiate the case for the application of academic freedom in the school context, and specifically within secondary education. Freedom of expression, which includes academic freedom, may be said to be a freedom without which other freedoms could not survive. The specific element of expression, the right of the individual learner and educator to academic freedom within the school context, and the question of whether such academic freedom of learners and educators can be limited, comprise the focus of this article.

Die reg op akademiese vryheid is 'n bestrede reg wat gereeld as slegs van toepassing op tersiêre onderwys geag word. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Grondwet bevat egter geen sodanige beperking nie: afdeling 16(1)(d) verklaar dat almal 'n reg op akademiese vryheid het. Hierdie artikel verdedig en begrond die toepaslikheid van akademiese vryheid in die skoolkonteks, in die besonder in sekondêre onderwys. Vryheid van uitdrukking wat akademiese vryheid insluit, kan immers beskou word as 'n vryheid waarsonder geen ander vryheid sou oorleef nie. Hierdie artikel fokus in die besonder op die element van uitdrukking, die reg van die individuele leerling en onderwyser op akademiese vryheid in die skoolkonteks, en die vraag of hierdie akademiese vryheid van leerlinge en onderwysers enigsins beperk kan word.

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