Limpopo textbooks still outstanding - report

2012-07-16 20:59

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.

  • Khaedu Ndou - 2012-07-16 21:35

    Eish! i don't know if i should be sad, furious, hurt, comment, feel sorry and or just close my eyes - 2012-07-16 22:02

      All of the above, except close your eyes. I am not longer sure what I pay tax for .. education is a mess, the roads are in a mess, the rates department is in a mess, the home affairs is in a mess, hospitals are a mess. Telkom have the monopoly, so we pay pay pay .. Mweb has the monopoly, so we pay pay pay . the government takes and gives nothing .. not even water or sanitation. They want the farms for comrades and then the farms are not farmed, so that we have less food .. food prices rise .. so we pay pay pay .. so don't close your eyes, let's do something .. Any Government who doesn't care if the children are educated tells me that they are afraid of too many educated people .. they may start asking questions.

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-07-16 22:18

      I am glad they found the report. Now please remember it takes time to study it thoroughly.

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-07-16 22:51

      Khaedu please close your eyes and pray. Just in the Venda area alone there are more than a 1000 schools. Not even the tenderpreneurs were aware of that.

      Koos - 2012-07-17 03:52

      Angie should be locked up with a tube of Vaseline.

      tw2066 - 2012-07-17 21:25

      Aparteid ..... 18 years has passed, a kid born in 1994 would have been through school by now. It took less time for the Jews to forgive the Germans. 18 years is longer than both world wars combined. Surely, in 18 years, this Facist government could have got their act together. Blaming the past and the other races and clerks and and ... is not solving anything, and yes Alicia - you are spot on - apartheid discriminated against blacks, the Facist ANC regime discriminates against EVERYONE!!

  • Henk - 2012-07-16 21:38

    News24 likes to delete this comment. The ANC is not to blame for this whole mess. The voters in Limpopo is to blame for this chaos. You have asked for your children not to be educated. - 2012-07-16 22:05

      Henk that is not true, they voted for a government who promised them a lot, the fact that they didn't deliver is another story.

      Henk - 2012-07-16 22:10

      18 years of promises and guess who they are going to vote for in the next election Wendy?

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-07-16 22:45

      What do you expect from people while voting sign their names simultaneously as well.

      tw2066 - 2012-07-17 21:27

      @ wendy - the same people who are affected by this - will vote ANC again. Henk is 100% spot on - the voters get the government they deserve...

  • peter.mokoena.31 - 2012-07-16 21:59

    Cadre deployment, appraised at 8/10, seeing nothing wrong with the situation,squandaring resources while my kids are at better schools,blaming others and circumstances while you enriching urselves at the expense of ur people. Creating an equal society by these mess, blame it on race. Should they trust you? What have you done for your own? I can't. Eish all of the above sounds familiar, but I will deny them. Still tomorrow I will point a finger, some called me an intelectual and who surrounds me? Aint funny cause I want the second term and those around me think is ok. Sad.

      Henk - 2012-07-16 22:11

      Keep on voting ANC!

  • suraya.williams.9 - 2012-07-16 22:20

    these people keep on forgetting that these children are our future doctors,teachers and lawyers.How are they suppose to reach their goals if they do not have the necessary materials now?

      Henk - 2012-07-16 22:33

      The African dream!

  • Lennon Chenga - 2012-07-16 22:33

    Let me try and understand this, we are half way through July so we are now looking at August for books that were paid for for the 2012 school calendar year!!! Four months later we destroy these books and wait for the 2013 deliveries??? Is firing these people enough??? Isn't there a bigger story behind this whole thing? This doesn't sound like sabotage at all!! What about the kids?? Are they going to repeat or are they getting a free pass?? WTH??

      theprodigy.brian - 2012-07-17 08:27

      & last years books also haven't been delivered, OMG how is this possible, why haven't the teachers, pupils & parents complained, how can they sit back while they get raped by the ANC Government, this complacency is what got ZImababwe into the situation that they find themselves, watch out South Africa, if you are going to blindly vote for a Government that rapes its citizens & do NOTHING when they screw you, you will be like ZImbabweans sooner than you think.

  • Pierre - 2012-07-16 22:38

    Thanks for calling them pupils. Anything beats "learners"

      frankflower - 2012-07-17 05:26

      Finally! I SO agree with you! Waar het die snert vandaand gekom? '

  • mrova.blaza - 2012-07-16 22:42

    I'm shocked by the silence of the ANC youth league through out this saga, aren't they supposed to be at the forefront of youth development.

      theprodigy.brian - 2012-07-17 08:23

      & this in their home town, the ANCYL is showing us who they really are, lying hypocrites that are only interested in gaining power & money.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-07-17 10:32

      Mrova, when the Youth league went to school, there weren't books either.

  • Cassim Akbar - 2012-07-16 22:42

    Viva cANCer viva... You guys are doing an excellent job voting for cANCer... Like the old saying goes when you point a finger at someone there are 3 pointed back at U...

  • Lennon Chenga - 2012-07-16 22:51

    I'm sorry, this is not incompetence!! There's a bigger story!! After thorough investigations, you might even find that some of the books that were being 'destroyed' are the same books being delivered!! Why are new textbooks being delivered anyway??? What happened to last year's books? Why are we destroying books before receiving new ones?? Why are we even destroying books?? Can we really afford to replace and destroy textbooks every year?? Should we not be using that money to upgrade our schools and pay the teachers??

      Henk - 2012-07-16 22:54

      lennon you are right it is not incompetence but a f#%&*# disgrace!R

      oscar.vanriel - 2012-07-17 05:47

      It is the African way of doing things, if you think about most political decisions in our country...nothing actually makes sense to normal people.

      helen.lange.58 - 2012-07-17 08:13

      Lennon - The department of Education implemented a new revised curriculum for Grade 1,2,3 and 10. This means that the pupils need new textbooks to be able to follow this new implementation. That is why they are not able to use the textbooks for last year.

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