Education department ignores court: Cope

2012-06-20 18:54
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Johannesburg - A court order requiring the basic education department to deliver teaching material to schools in Limpopo has not been honoured, Cope said on Wednesday.

"The department is in contempt of the court order and both Minister [Angie] Motshekga and MEC Dickson Masemola have some explaining to do," Congress of the People acting provincial chairperson Patrick Sikhutshi said.

The department could not be reached for comment.

On Thursday, Motshekga told reporters in Pretoria that progress had been made since the national department took over the running of education in Limpopo.

"As we speak, textbooks are being delivered to the central warehouse in Polokwane," she said.

The deadline for delivery of textbooks in Limpopo was Friday 15 June. The new books would be mainly for Grades 1, 2, 3 and 10, with top-ups for the other grades bought directly from publishers for R126m.

Sikhutshi said it was common for the government not to respect court orders or decisions, and yet the same government wanted citizens to take it seriously.

He said a Cope investigation revealed that Swobani High School in Vhembe, near Musina, had received no supplies since the beginning of the year.

Not taking education seriously

Also, the majority of schools in the Senwabarwana municipality, near the Botswana border, had not received any material. These were just some of the results of the investigation, he said.

"The department is not taking the education of our children very serious, particularly that of the poorest of the poor, who continue to be marginalised."

He called for the Congress of SA Students and other student formations to protest against the lack of teaching and learning materials at schools.

Last week, the Democratic Alliance also queried Motshekga's claims that her department was making great strides. DA education spokesperson Anette Lovemore said Motshekga should learn to acknowledge her mistakes.

"If she cannot admit to her department's mistakes, Minister Motshekga virtually ensures that they will be repeated again. Learners cannot be allowed to face the same chaos again."

Lovemore said Motshekga's assurance that textbooks would be delivered on time was not a victory.

"That a court of law had to direct the department to do its job, and stop violating learners' human rights, is no achievement."

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