Strategy for 2012 academic year discussed

Angie Motshekga said her recovery plan is underway.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: GCIS

POLOKWANE - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga is due to meet with her nine MECs on Thursday to discuss the ordering of textbooks for next year.

On Wednesday she was in Limpopo, speaking to principals and checking in on the province's catch-up plan to deal with the textbook crisis.

Motshekga also dismissed calls for her resignation as unbalanced and unfair.

Motshekga said her recovery plan is underway and a new call centre will help resolve problems at schools still waiting for textbooks.

She said a task team set up by President Jacob Zuma will determine who should be held responsible.

"I don't know why they are so much in a rush. What's this whole rush about?

"Wait for the presidential task team and we'll take things from there."

Motshekga also played down fears that the textbook crisis had led to dismal results in the mid-year exams.

Motshekga said a scientific analysis is needed before any conclusions can be reached.

"People come to the conclusion that kids have failed because they did not have textbooks, but you are supposed to be saying, in the past two years, have they performed any different.

"I've asked the schools to check if in fact there has been any impact."

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) Lindiwe Mazibuko said what happened in Limpopo is a total disgrace and long term planning is needed from here on out.

"The key is forward planning and budgeting ahead of time to make sure that all of the books are delivered on time."

Motshekga's catch-up plan has also been criticised and could result in yet another court battle.

Mazibuko on Wednesday publicly challenged to leaders in Limpopo and other provinces to match the delivery of school textbooks taking place in the Western Cape.

Mazibuko said they have no problem sharing their strategy with other provinces.

"We are willing to share all the details behind our plan, all of the programmes, all of the delivery times, all of the information you need in order to make sure that the young people of all nine provinces are able to access quality education.

Mazibuko also feels Motshekga must not be made the scapegoat for the textbooks debacle, but rather that action should be taken against those found to have caused the textbook crisis.

This week the African National Congress Youth League and the Congress of South African Students warned if Motshekga did not step down in the next two months, they will engage in mass action until she does.

They claim she has failed to take responsibility for the Limpopo textbooks scandal.