Basic Education gears up for 2013

The ministry confirmed that 99 percent of textbooks for grade 10 were delivered on Wednesday.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department is already geared up and ready with the procurement of textbooks for 2013 to avoid a similar fiasco experienced in Limpopo, officials said on Thursday.

The ministry confirmed that 99 percent of textbooks for grade 10 were delivered, while pupils in grades one, two and three were supplied with all their material.

The department's Bobby Soobrayan said they will ensure there is better communication between the districts and distributors in future to avoid compromising next year's curriculum.

"The process for procuring for 2013 has started.

"We've released the catalogue and everything is in accordance with the catalogue."

Soobrayan added communication in all provinces needs an overall upgrade after sighting it as one of the contributors to the text book crisis.

"It's a challenge in a big system but it's inexcusable if you look at the level with which the poor communication happened currently."

The Basic Education Department has since committed to establishing a team to investigate what happened to prevent textbooks from remaining undelivered to Limpopo schools in time for the start of the academic year.

On Wednesday, the department vowed that heads would roll over the debacle.

Grades one to three and grade 10 pupils in the province did not have learning material since the beginning of the school year.

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

Section 27 said that government's failure to communicate with schools was at the heart of the Limpopo textbook crisis.

The organisation took the Basic Education Department to court, after it failed to deliver textbooks to a number of schools in the province.

"One of the failures of the last six months has been the absence of communication to the principals," said Section 27's Mark Heywood.

"Now you may think you're communication but somewhere, somebody is not passing the messages on."