Text­book de­nial over DA at­tack

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - HEIDI GIOKOS @hei­di­giokos

THE LIM­POPO Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion rub­bished claims made by the DA that the prov­ince has not de­liv­ered text­books and learning and teach­ing sup­port ma­te­rial (LTSM) on time.

This comes af­ter the DA re­leased a state­ment yes­ter­day ex­press­ing its con­cern af­ter claims emerged that only about half of the prov­ince’s schools had re­ceived their text­books.

DA pro­vin­cial spokesper­son on ed­u­ca­tion Jac­ques Smalle said Lim­popo Ed­u­ca­tion MEC Ish­mael Kget­jepe had yet again “dis­torted the truth and cov­ered up the in­com­pe­tency of his depart­ment around the de­liv­ery of text­books to schools in Lim­popo for the new aca­demic year”.

The DA said it un­der­took a cam­paign to de­ter­mine school readi­ness, con­firm­ing that schools in the Water­berg, Sekhukhune and Mopani dis­tricts had not re­ceived their re­sources. “Ac­cord­ing to our sources in the depart­ment, a con­trac­tor to pro­vide LTSM was ap­pointed very late and the fault can­not be laid at the ser­vice provider’s door,” said Smalle.

He said Kget­jepe was gloat­ing about the suc­cess­fully ex­e­cuted text­book de­liv­ery for the school year dur­ing the re­lease of last year’s Na­tional Se­nior Cer­tifi­cate re­sults for Lim­popo last week in Polok­wane.

“The DA is fur­ther con­cerned at the per­pet­ual fail­ure to en­sure timeous de­liv­ery of text­books and LTSM, which con­firms our long-stand­ing view that the Lim­popo Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment lacks cred­i­bil­ity, ca­pac­ity and the po­lit­i­cal will to pri­ori­tise learning,” Smalle said

How­ever, the depart­ment’s Naledzani Rasila said the short­age of text­books was be­cause pupils had left with the books last year, and the depart­ment was try­ing to re­place those text­books.

“See­ing that the cur­ricu­lum has not changed this year, stu­dents will be us­ing the same text­books. This is where the prob­lem comes in. Not ev­ery learner will bring the books back.

“This is why we are forced ev­ery year to pur­chase and top up the books. Not to say we have not de­liv­ered at all,” said Rasila.

He did ad­mit the depart­ment was a bit be­hind in de­liv­er­ing sta­tionery to cer­tain schools. How­ever, they were on track with de­liv­er­ies, to­gether with the top-up text­books.

“I don’t know where they (DA) are get­ting their story from. We are say­ing that we are be­hind with the sta­tionery. And we are cur­rently de­liv­er­ing to­gether with the text­books,” Rasila said.

He said an­other rea­son for the pos­si­ble short­age of text­books could be the increase in the num­ber of pupils this year.

“If there has been a de­lay in de­liv­ery of the top-up books and the sta­tionery, we ex­pect to com­plete that be­fore the end of the month,” said Rasila.

In 2012, the depart­ment came un­der se­vere fire af­ter 500 000 of a 1.3 mil­lion text­book or­der was not re­ceived by schools across Lim­popo.

A con­trac­tor to sup­ply LTSM was ap­pointed very late

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