Limpopo textbooks still outstanding - report

2012-07-16 20:59
Picture: <a href=http://www.shutterstock.com>Shuttertstock</a>

Picture: Shuttertstock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A significant amount of textbooks owed to Limpopo pupils by the basic education department have still not been delivered, a report has found.

The report, compiled by former education director general Mary Metcalfe on the late delivery of textbooks in Limpopo, found that the department had only delivered 48% of the books by July 3 - in violation of a court order.

Legal non-governmental organisation Section27 said at the release of the report in Johannesburg on Monday the department had not been completely honest when it said it delivered 98% of books by its June 27 deadline.

"On the first day of a new [school] term, there is a risk that many learners still remain without textbooks or with insufficient textbooks," Section27 executive director Mark Heywood said.

Incorrect reports


"We accept that all... figures [in the report] require further verification. But on these facts the department of basic education remains in violation of the court order. This needs a very urgent remedy."

The report found that despite the extended date for the delivery of textbooks by June 27, the department's assertion that 98% of the books were delivered was partially incorrect.

"Professor Metcalfe's report shows that on 27th June only 15% of books had been delivered to schools. By July 3 this had increased to 48%, Heywood said.

"According to the report, by July 11, 22% of the sample schools were still awaiting textbooks."

The report found that Section27 believed the department's figures should have reflected the receipt of books by schools. The department maintained that its figure of 98% actually represented the number of textbooks dispatched to warehouses for delivery.

"By the time deliveries started to schools they were closed for the school holidays, further compounding delivery difficulties," the report said.

It found that squeezing the delivery into a two-week process "caused weak systems to buckle and [that] a full audit of delivery could not be completed because large numbers of proof of delivery notes had not been returned."

Department is rotten

A large number of warehouses in Limpopo belonging to the department also had "volumes" of textbooks from previous years that were not delivered.

Section27 accepted the recommendations made by Metcalfe in the report and called for their "urgent implementation".

"It is very clear from this and other reports that the Limpopo education department is rotten, riven [rife] with corruption, and incapable of meeting its constitutional obligation to learners," Heywood said.

"We call for the department to be cleaned out, for the vigorous prosecution of charges of corruption, for maximum openness about those charged, and for the [Limpopo] MEC for basic education, Dickson Masemola, to be fired."

He said the "crisis" was not Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's sole responsibility.

"Section27's intention is not to vilify any particular person. However we maintain our position that once Cabinet decided to intervene in Limpopo... they assumed, through the department, full responsibility for meeting minimum standards for the delivery of basic education services within the province."

Basic education spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said the department accepted the report and would work to implement its recommendations.

Accurate assessment

"We await further reports to make an accurate assessment on the matter. We are going to Limpopo to count each and every learner and teacher to ensure that this situation does not happen again," he said.

"The Limpopo department has already initiated the process to ensure that textbooks for the 2013 school year are available when schools re-open in January."

Section27 took the department to court to force it to deliver the books after some schools in the province had been without them for seven months.

The Metcalfe report was compiled in response to the department's assertion that 98% of the books were delivered.

A presidential task team and the Limpopo government are also conducting their own investigations into the situation, which has been accompanied by media reports of textbook dumping, irregular ordering, and tender processes.

Democratic Alliance Limpopo education spokesperson Desiree van der Walt said 17 schools being monitored still did not have textbooks on Monday morning.

Concrete answers

"By the first day of school the department has failed to ensure that books are in the hands of Limpopo schoolchildren," she said in a statement.

"Our monitoring today confirms that the Metcalfe report's statistic of 52% of schools not receiving books by 3 July still applies today. We demand concrete answers from the minister on when children will finally receive all the books they need."

Many parents at Luthuli Primary School in Seshego, near Polokwane, withdrew their children from the school on Monday morning after there were no textbooks, school furniture, or teachers.

The school governing body chairperson Clifford Mohloana said the children would not return to school until the department intervened.

"We are not going to take our children to school, it's useless - there is no teachers, no books, no classrooms," Mohloana said.

"Even if we... say they must go to school, there are no materials or teachers who will make sure that [the] education of our children continues."

Limpopo education spokesperson Pat Kgomo blamed the board for the incident but said the department would engage with them to resolve the problems at the school.
- SAPA
Read more on:    section27  |  dickson masemola  |  mary metcalfe  |  angie motshekga  |  polokwane  |  textbook saga  |  education
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
31 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.