Court to decide on Limpopo textbook saga

Section27 asked the high court for an order that the textbooks be delivered across Limpopo.

Limpopo schools are sufferign without text books.

JOHANNESBURG - The National and Limpopo Departments of Education will hear on Thursday morning whether a court will require them to supply textbooks to pupils in that province by the end of the month.

Public Interest Law Centre Section27 approached the North Gauteng High Court this week seeking the order, asking the court for an order that the textbooks be delivered across Limpopo within the next two weeks.

It also wants the court to order the Education Departments to put a catch up plan in place, to close the gaps in the syllabus caused by the lack of learning material.

The government has argued that no court order is necessary because it already had a plan to deliver the textbooks by the middle of next month.

Judge Jody Kollapen pointed out that the departments have failed previous undertakings.

Section27 launched the court case, after pupils in Limpopo were left without learning resources for several months of the school year.

Attorney Nikki Stein wants an order for government to deliver textbooks by the end of the month and for a catch programme to be put into place.

"It is essential that as well as delivering textbooks as soon as possible, the department puts something in place to ensure that these gaps are closed and these learners are not too badly prejudiced going forward," Stein told Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

Section27 said on its website that "Despite resources being available, learners throughout Limpopo have not received a single new textbook this year.

"Learners in grades R, one, two, three and 10, who began a new curriculum in January, have still not received the support materials necessary to learn."

Section27 applied to the High Court for an order directing the Department of Basic Education and the Limpopo Department of Education to provide textbooks to learners throughout Limpopo by no later than May 31 and to put in place a plan "catch-up" plan to provide additional classes to learners so that they are able to make up the curriculum they have missed due to the lack of textbooks.