98% of textbooks delivered – dept

At least 98% of textbooks had been delivered to inland schools ahead of the first day of school tomorrow, the basic education department has said.

“We are ready for day one,” Minister Angie Motshekga said in a statement today.

“We are ready to welcome about one million learners into the education system.”

Schools in Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumulanga, and North West open tomorrow.

Last year, Motshekga was slammed as some Limpopo schools were reportedly still without textbooks in August.

The department said extra textbooks would be delivered within the first two weeks of school this year. Teachers should be ready and in their classrooms from the first day.

While the department acknowledged encountering some problems, it said these were being addressed.

“These include the late registration of learners, too many applicants flocking to former model C schools, and space constraints in some schools because of overcrowding. There’s also been the issue of forced closure of schools, as experienced in the Western Cape.”

In October, Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant announced that 20 schools – later 18 – would be closed because of dwindling numbers and multi-grade teaching.

In December, the Western Cape High Court granted 17 of the schools an urgent interdict halting the closures.

The department said Motshekga and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe would visit several schools tomorrow.

Their focus would be school readiness, the supply and training of teachers, readiness to implement the curriculum, the state of registration of pupils, delivery of textbooks and stationery, and the availability of pupil transport and school nutrition to children who qualified.

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