The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has called on President Jacob Zuma to urgently evaluate the performance of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in the wake of the Limpopo textbook fiasco.
In a scathing statement on Tuesday, Cosas said Motshekga’s department was “in a state of collapse”.
The students also called on the Department of Basic Education to lay charges against the company contracted to deliver the textbooks, which were found dumped at the side of a road, and to cancel all contracts with the company.
Expressing “utter disgust” at the “injustice” done to pupils in Limpopo, Cosas said the textbook debacle flew in the face of the pupils’ constitutional right to an education.
“We see the frustration encountered by the students as no less than a barbaric act that seeks to set the country back from the progress that the ANC-led government has made in transforming the education quality of the majority,” the body said.
Cosas acting secretary-general Tshiamo Tsotetsi said on Tuesday it demanded an evaluation of Motshekga’s performance “so that we can see if she has been delivering according to the expectations of government”.
Tsotetsi said the company contracted to deliver textbooks had proved beyond reasonable doubt “that they do not have even just a bit of the interests of the learners at heart”.
The student body has demanded a proper recovery plan for the Limpopo education saga.
“This… must be understood to be a do or die affair that requires the active participation of every stakeholder.
“Such a programme must be followed by a comprehensive monitoring mechanism so as to ensure that all those expected to take part, do so.”
The congress called on pupils in the senior grades and those in institutions of higher learning across the province to “go all out” in assisting the affected lower grade pupils to cope.
“We view the situation of the province as one that requires a drastic change in how the department conducts its day-to-day business.
“Everybody who receives any form of a salary from the education department in the province is expected to be seen sweating in the interests of the full recovery of the learners in Limpopo,” Tsotetsi said.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted this week by consumer insights company Pondering Panda found that young South Africans are divided on the issue of whether Motshekga should be axed over the Limpopo textbooks debacle
DA basic education spokeswoman Annette Lovemore said Motshekga must ensure that government officials involved in the destruction of textbooks were included in the investigations into the matter.