14 February 2013

South Africa: The Textbook Saga Continues in Limpopo

It is with disgust to observe how maliciously the spokesperson of the Department of Education continues to mislead South Africans and people of Limpopo in particular about the delivery of textbooks in that province.

He unashamedly lies on public television and radios, about the distribution of textbooks, like he did in 2012. It is not how good the department can play public relations exercises, but it is about the future of the children in public schools in the Province and the Department’s commitment to the quality learning and teaching campaign.

The words and public performance by the spokesperson are meaningless to the children in classrooms without textbooks and teachers frustrated by this high level of inefficiency.

Principals and teachers are even threatened with disciplinary action for exposing the truth and real facts that the department did not distribute textbooks to all deserving schools. The department must be reminded that lies, even if, told a million times will remain lies.

The arrogance and threats by the spokesperson will not stop educators and school Principals from reporting non-delivery and shortage of textbooks in Limpopo. We call on the department to ensure delivery of books to all schools that reported non-delivery and shortages and stop the “denial syndrome”.

The Union has requested on many occasions, a meeting of stakeholders to be provided with information on how books were distributed in the Province but all in vain. The officials gave promises but the meeting never materialised. It is not negotiable that the department must provide books to all deserving learners in time, as it is expected that teachers should be in class on time and teaching.

The Union has observed again that some departmental officials continue to mislead the Minister about the supply of textbooks. List of schools where textbooks were not delivered were submitted to the department but little was done to address the situation.

It is the corrupt tendencies from the Director General (Bobby Soobrayan) that removed the procurement and distributions of textbook from the Province in order to exercise his allegedly corrupt activities on the distribution of textbooks that landed the Province in this predicament. We reiterate our call for his dismissal. The Minister must swiftly and promptly act on this matter, lest she should take responsibility for collapsing education, condemning and subjecting the future of our children to the dustbin of history.

We call on the Department to stop addressing the media and lie to South Africans, but to act immediately to address the shortage of textbooks.

SADTU Limpopo Secretariat

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