Some pupils without workbooks: DA

2012-09-04 20:25
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Johannesburg - Some pupils at Edenglen Primary School, in Edenvale, have still not received workbooks for the second half of the academic year, the DA in Gauteng said on Tuesday.

"It is unacceptable that students do not have the necessary study materials this far into the academic year," Democratic Alliance spokesperson Khume Ramulifho said in a statement.

However, provincial department of education spokesperson Charles Phahlane said: "This is an old matter".

He said the department visited the school after the DA first raised the matter at the end of July.

The national department provided additional workbooks and the school's headmaster congratulated the department on speedily resolving the matter.

"The department went out of their way to remedy the minor problem," the principal said at the time.

Not aware

On Tuesday, basic education department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi responded with disbelief to the DA's claims that some pupils at the school were without workbooks.

"That's not possible. Why didn't they notify us?"

He said the department had a policy of delivering workbooks within 18 days of being notified of a shortage, but could not act if it was not aware of the problem.

Ramulifho said that the DA had previously raised its concerns about the late delivery of workbooks at the Edenglen Primary School.

"This school also only received workbooks for the first half of this year in May."

He said responsibility for the workbooks rested with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, but still felt that Gauteng Education MEC Mary Creecy had "dodged" her duties.

"Instead, it was up to the DA to raise the red flag about workbooks in the province."

Earlier in the provincial legislature, Creecy said plans for the delivery of textbooks and learning materials for Gauteng schools for the 2013 academic year were on track.

No expected delays

"I would like to assure the members in the House that we have put in place clear processes to ensure that all textbooks are delivered... before the start of the new academic year," she said.

Learner teacher support materials (LTSM) for Gauteng's 190 Section 20 schools - those schools that are not self-managing - had been ordered by the department. These schools received R73m for LTSM over the 2012/2013 financial year.

In these schools, orders for Grades 4 - 6 and Grade 11 books were placed before the deadline of August 15.

Creecy said the books were expected in November.

"There are no expected delays in deliveries. However, it should be noted that publishers take between eight to 12 weeks to print and deliver the orders placed."

Self-managing Section 21 schools are responsible for procuring their own learning materials.

For next year, the department had allocated R588m for LTSM for the 1 855 Section 21 schools in the province.

"[These schools] are required to follow a three-quotation system to find the cheapest supplier and place orders," Creecy said.

Subsidies were also in place to replace lost or damaged textbooks.

The department also monitored districts to ensure that shortages or erroneous deliveries could be rectified in time to prevent teaching disruptions.
Read more on:    da  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  textbook saga

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