Province achieves a first

2007-12-11 00:00

COME January 16, when schools reopen for 2008, the KwaZulu-Natal Education Department will have achieved an almost 100% delivery of textbooks at non-section 21 schools.

This was the message from the Education MEC Ina Cronjé, who said this feat was a first for the province and a far cry from the results in previous years.

Non-section 21 schools make up 3 211 public schools, for which the department purchases and distributes the Learning Teaching Support Material (LTSM).

Unlike schools with section 21-status, which are deemed able to run their own finances, non-section 21 schools only receive a paper plan of the budget, and are required to have placed orders for the LTSM with the department by a specified deadline.

“When the first bell for the 2008 academic year rings, 95,45% of the 3 211 non-section 21 schools will have textbooks on their desks.” These 3 069 schools had already received 97,95% of their books by the end of November 2007.

According to Cronjé, these textbook deliveries before the first day of school moved from a 4,6% delivery in 2005 to 40% in 2006; 80% was achieved in 2007 and now 95% in 2008.

In addition, R828 million has been allocated for the book and stationery budget in the 2007/2008 financial year, in comparison to R379 million in the 2003/2004.

“As you can see there has been fine-tuned planning and co-operation within the different components who have really pulled up their socks and worked hard to bring the LTSM into the 21st century, out of the sea of darkness where no one was accountable.”

The remaining 2,05% on outstanding delivery could be attributed to challenges of books being out of print and the late delivery by publishers, she said.

The remaining 4,5% of non-section 21 schools which have not received textbooks are made up of 78 schools that submitted requisitions as late as October, for a May deadline.

These schools will receive their books in January 2008.

“The rest of the non-section 21 schools that have not received their books are made up of 32 principals who have not ordered at all despite numerous reminders. Disciplinary action will be taken against them,” Cronjé said.

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