SCHOOLS in Limpopo are still suffering textbook shortages despite the Department of Basic Education’s assurances that it had dealt with the problem, according to stakeholders in the province.
Earlier this week, rights group Section27 and two other parties launched a new court application to force the delivery of textbooks by the end of next month. The applicants say a number of schools have not received a single textbook.
Solly Tshitangano, acting chief financial officer of the Limpopo education department, was adamant on Thursday that the problem of textbook nondelivery was being overstated.
The Department of Basic Education maintains that books should have been delivered and that systems are in place to deal quickly with instances where they still have not been delivered. It said on Thursday in a statement that it could "confidently say" the shortages that individual schools had reported were being attended to.
More than 1.3-million books were ordered and, when this number proved to be insufficient, a supplementary order of 500,000 books was immediately placed. The order was placed " based on data sets made available by the Limpopo department of education".
Limpopo community leader Solanga Milambo said he had visited eight schools and telephonically contacted about 20. Even those that had received books reported they had received fewer than requested, or the wrong types.
There could be more cases, but principals had been warned not to make public textbook shortages at their schools.
There have been instances, including one last week, of textbooks and other learning materials being dumped, leading to criminal charges against the perpetrators.
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