Textbook denial over DA attack
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