Limpopo textbook shortages to be fixed – education dept

2013-03-05 16:23

A shortage of textbooks in Limpopo should be rectified by Friday, the basic education department has told MPs.

Briefing the portfolio committee on basic education, the department said a shortage of just over 42 000 books was reported at the beginning of the school year.

Over two million books were supposed to be provided in the province.

“Zooming in on Limpopo, what we would say is that we were at over 90% in terms of provision. What we would like to be at is 100%,” department director Allan Subban said.

MPs questioned Subban’s figure, saying this was at odds with the 99% provided by others in the department.

Acting deputy director-general Hubert Mweli explained the discrepancy.

“When you report on rate of delivery to schools it will always be 99%, but when you go to whether each learner has received a textbook in every subject or not, the shortages will then come in,” Mweli said.

The shortages resulted from a number of factors. These included pupils changing schools, districts and provinces, schools starting new grades, and schools starting new methods of learning and teaching.

Mweli said it was impossible to achieve a 100% delivery rate.

“You use the data of the prior years to order the material for the next academic year. Obviously the data will never tally 100%.”

Mweli said shortages were not restricted to Limpopo, but happened in all provinces.

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