Limpopo textbook distribution 'on track'

2012-06-27 15:29
The Shakespearean tragedy, Macbeth, is among the books Limpopo’s education department is planning to destroy. (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld)

The Shakespearean tragedy, Macbeth, is among the books Limpopo’s education department is planning to destroy. (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The distribution of textbooks in Limpopo was on track on Wednesday, the department of basic education said.

"Yesterday [Tuesday] books for Grades 1 to 3 were distributed and today [Wednesday] we are working on Grade 10," director general Bobby Soobrayan said.

In May, the North Gauteng High Court ruled that the department's failure to provide textbooks violated the Constitution.

The application was brought by rights organisation Section 27.

Catch-up plan

Judge Jody Kollapen ordered the department to devise a catch-up plan to remedy the consequences of the delay, and to supply the affected schools with textbooks by June 15.

The department failed to meet the court's deadline.

Section 27 and the department met on Thursday and agreed that all books would be delivered to schools by or on Wednesday.

The Democratic Alliance said many of the schools it was monitoring had not received textbooks by 11:00.

Soobrayan said the last boxes of books were being loaded into trucks at a central warehouse. From there, the books would be taken to district warehouses and then delivered to schools.

The department expected that some schools might need extra books if there were administrative errors in the numbers of pupils at each school.

To accommodate this, additional books were available.

Dumped

On Saturday, Congress of the People MP Tshilidzi Ravhuanzwo said "piles and piles" of text books and stationery had been dumped, apparently for disposal, at a site in Seshego, near Polokwane.

Opposition parties expressed outrage at the apparent wastage, as thousands of pupils in Limpopo schools had not been supplied with textbooks.

DA provincial spokesperson Jamie Turkington said in a statement the party would monitor the progress of textbook deliveries in Limpopo throughout the day.

He said schools had not been notified that the textbooks would be delivered on Wednesday and some were not prepared to receive them.

"In the Polokwane district, for instance, delivery trucks arrived at Tom Naude High School, but had to be turned away, because no one [at the school] was notified by the department that books were arriving."

He said some schools which had acquired textbooks did not receive their full consignment.

The DA would donate salvaged books to Lotonang Primary school in Seshego later on Wednesday.

"The books we are donating were salvaged from the site where government was paying a contractor to destroy them," Turkington said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  polokwane  |  education  |  textbook saga
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