The Department of Education in Limpopo has once again missed the March 2017 deadline to deliver textbooks and Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) to more than 538 schools across the province.
The DA is deeply concerned by the effect that the non-delivery of textbooks has had on schools and learners in the second quarter of the academic year, and the deadline to deliver textbooks has now been extended until tomorrow, 19 May 2017.
The Presentation by the Department to the Portfolio Committee on Education last week Friday, confirmed that 531 schools are still without Siyavula textbooks for Maths and Science for Grade 10 and 11, whilst 7 schools are still waiting for Ku Dyela Nyama Ematlukeni for Grade 12 to be delivered. Schools were forced to use their norms and standards budget to fund the non-delivery of textbooks and LTSM which will place more pressure on the schools’ planned expenditure.
It is clear that both the MEC for Education, Ishmael Kgetjepe and the Premier, Stan Mathabatha, have lied and misled the people of Limpopo when presenting the 2017 Schools readiness report, by indicating that textbooks will be delivered to all schools by the end of March 2017. This is yet another year in Limpopo that our learners are being denied their textbooks by an uncaring ANC-led government since 2012.
The Department is currently still awaiting textbooks from two publishers and we believe that the Department will still miss their deadline tomorrow.
The failure by the Department to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place with all publishers to hold them accountable for the delivery of textbooks, indicates a lack of oversight over a critical indicator. The delay proves a lack of planning that continues to hamper the learners’ chances of having a successful academic year.
The DA urges the Department to reimburse schools that incurred the unforeseen expenditure of buying textbooks using their norms and standards budget, due to the Department’s failure to supply textbooks on time. Both the MEC and Premier must be held accountable for misleading the province, as a whole, and must ensure measures are put in place for textbooks to be delivered as soon as possible, to give students a greater chance of success for the remainder of the school year.
Jacques Smalle MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education