Five provinces on textbook shame list

Limpopo is not the only province with shortages of textbooks and stationery in schools, the Department of Basic Education has told Parliament.

The Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape as well as North West had not delivered all textbooks and stationery by January 28, two weeks into the school year.

Presenting an update on the delivery of textbooks and stationary to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, senior basic education official Mathanzima Mweli blamed the migration of learners across schools, districts and provinces for the shortages in Limpopo.

Mweli said schools have been asked to inform the department of any shortages.

He warned principals that they would be held accountable for submitting incorrect information.

“The department is committed to ensure that all schools receive their full consignment of textbooks,” Mweli told the committee.

According to the quarterly report, the basic education department had only delivered 93% of textbooks and 84% of stationery in the Free State by January 28.

In Limpopo, the figure was 99% for both while only 82% of textbooks had been delivered in the Northern Cape.

Only Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape delivered all stationery and textbooks on time.

No-fee schools in the Eastern Cape were the hardest hit, with only 81% of stationery delivered on time while the figure was 97% for textbooks.

Mweli said a final analysis of delivery would be done on Friday.

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