No confirmation on Limpopo textbook deadline

Basic Education must report to Section 27 before revealing any details on its deadline.

Limpopo textbooks: Only a few books left in the warehouse. Picture: Andrea van Wyk/EWN

POLOKWANE - The Basic Education Department said on Thursday it could not confirm whether it had met its deadline to deliver textbooks to schools across Limpopo by midnight.

It said it must first give a report on the matter to the organisation that took it to court, namely Section 27.

If all parties are satisfied a press conference could be held on Thursday afternoon.

"It will be ideal for everyone to wait until that particular period before pointing fingers at the department," said Panyaza Lesufi.

Section 27 said on Thursday, it doubted whether the latest delivery deadline was met at all.

The organisation's Nikki Stein confirmed that they definitely want an independent verification of the delivery.

"We would like the department to appoint someone to look at the information in the report and verify that that is actually what is happening on the ground."

The Basic Education Department vowed on Wednesday that heads will roll over the Limpopo textbook debacle.

Grades one to three and grade ten pupils in the province were without learning material since the beginning of the school year.

The deadline for the department to deliver textbooks in the province was midnight.

Packers scrambled to seal the last of the boxes, while Basic Education Director-General Bobby Soobrayan said pupils must not despair and that with self study and the help of dedicated teachers, they will catch up.

He vowed this fiasco is the last of its kind.

"I reassure you, I will be here," said Soobrayan.

"This problem will not reoccur."

This grade 10 pupil has lost faith and said government has let them down.

"Most of the classes in other provinces have their books - it's not fair."

Pupils are expected to fetch their textbooks at schools from Thursday.

Education officials say Limpopo school pupils must now take charge of the textbook fiasco by studying through the winter holidays.

"We will catch up and children must just keep up hope that they will be supported," said Soobrayan.

Local high school principal Louw Kruger said this will not be easy.

"We've lost half a year, so you'll have to have a day twice as long to catch up."

The department said it had a full recovery plan in place but only the results of this year's final exams will demonstrate whether or not this plan is indeed a success.