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Limpopo schools optimistic about 2013

Schools in troubled Limpopo reopen on Wednesday with a sense of optimism among pupils and teachers.

Children stand outside Taxila Secondary School in Polokwane, Limpopo. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN

LIMPOPO - Following a shambolic 2012 academic year in Limpopo, schools in the troubled province reopen on Wednesday with a sense of optimism among pupils and teachers.

The province is still reeling from last year's textbook scandal that dominated headlines.

In the aftermath of the textbook crisis, and with the province's education department still under administration, Limpopo schools will open with the hope of a smooth start to the 2013 academic year.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) meanwhile has assured educators of its support.

Sadtu's provincial secretary in Limpopo, Matome Raphasha, said, "As long as it is in the interests of teaching our learners and making sure there is effective teaching and learning, teachers are guaranteed our support."

Schools will take stock of textbooks to ensure all the correct learning material has been delivered.

Some principals and educators have told Eyewitness News they hope the Department of Basic Education will adhere to promises it made in 2012.

SADTU TO MEET WITH EDUCATION OFFICIALS

Sadtu said it would not hesitate to pull its 45,000 members out of Limpopo classrooms if the department failed to address the union's outstanding concerns.

Raphasha said the union would meet with Limpopo Education MEC Dickson Masemola this week to discuss issues around ailing and non-existent infrastructure at rural schools in the province.

"Our members are tired of being patient about issues that the department has the capacity to resolve, but are simply unresolved because of a lack of will."

He said if a commitment was not made to resolve the issues, Sadtu would sound the alarm and take to the streets.

Raphasha said although relations between teachers and the department had been salvaged, the fragile trust could be easily broken, which he said would lead to disastrous consequences.