'Book shortages in GP schools will be tackled'

The Gauteng education department said it would take action if it came across book shortages for 2012.

Learning material. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng Department of Education said although its current blitz on schools is about textbooks for next year - it would take action if it came across shortages for the current academic year.

Eyewitness News on Friday revealed that the department spent most of this week auditing a sample of schools across the Gauteng province.

The department however denied the audits had anything to do with the Limpopo textbook crisis.

In Limpopo, some schools are still without all of their learning material - seven months into the school year.

The Department of Basic Education missed two June deadlines to deliver textbooks to all schools.

The final date of 27 June was agreed upon by the department and rights group Section 27, after it missed a deadline imposed by a Pretoria court.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Charles Phahlane said the blitz was launched to make sure schools were not running behind schedule in buying textbooks for 2013.

Teachers and parents told Eyewitness News that some schools, mainly in underprivileged areas, had severe shortages of learning material.

Some pupils are forced to share books and struggle to prepare for exams, they added.

"If during this blitz that we're conducting we find that there are those challenges, we will be addressing those challenges", Phahlane said.

The report from this week's audit is due to be ready by early next week, the department confirmed.