Textbook task team releases findings

A standardised method of procuring & distributing textbooks is needed, the task team revealed.

The DA claims these textbooks are being destroyed in Limpopo. Picture: Twitter: @HelenZille.

JOHANNESBURG - A series of failures in both the National and provincial education departments led to the Limpopo textbook crisis, the ministerial task team revealed on Friday.

According to the panel's findings, the non-delivery of workbooks was caused, in part, by the closing down of the Limpopo Education Department's book unit.

The department then handed over that responsibility to the service provider, before prioritising the acquisition of stationery.

The team revealed that both the national and provincial departments do not have credible data on teacher and pupil numbers in the province.

It has recommended the development of a standardised method of procuring and distributing learning material.

At the same time, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ordered that the remaining textbooks be delivered to pupils by the end of next week.

President Jacob Zuma has now given Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga three weeks to file a report on the steps taken to address the issue.

This comes after some grades in Limpopo went without workbooks for more than seven months.

Human rights group Section 27 took the department to court, but the national department still missed several delivery deadlines.

Officials insist the problems were caused by factors outside their control.