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Catch-up plan inadequate: Section27

Limpopo - The basic education department's catch-up plan for Limpopo is inadequate, lobby group Section27 said on Wednesday.

“We believe that the plan is inadequate and a clear violation of both the 17 May court order and our agreement with the department,” said spokesman Mark Heywood.

File picture of textbooks in a Limpopo warehouse. Credit: INLSA

The plan outlines ways to make up for schooling time lost this year because of the late or non-delivery of textbooks to schools in Limpopo.

Section27 obtained a court order earlier in the year for textbooks to be delivered by June 15. The department missed the deadline.

In a meeting between Section27 and the department on June 21, a revised date of June 27 was set. This deadline was also missed.

In a report, former education director general Mary Metcalfe indicated that only 15 percent of books had been delivered to schools by June 27.

The department appointed Metcalfe last month to investigate the non-delivery of textbooks.

Heywood said the catch-up plan fell short of the requirements, which included the setting of timelines and identifying the extent that quality of teaching was compromised because of lack of textbooks.

“It seems that the department's only plan is the distribution of subject guides by the end of August... that is three-and-a-half months after the court order.”

Heywood said his organisation was concerned that the department had stopped reporting on the progress on the delivery of textbooks.

“In view of this outcome, we are consulting our legal team, parents, principals, teachers and pupils to decide how to proceed.”

Minister Angie Motshekga met principals in Limpopo on Wednesday to discuss the plan.

Education spokesman Panyaza Lesufi dismissed Heywood's criticism.

“We completely reject that statement. The minister has just met with over 2000 principals, who gave the plan the thumbs up.”

He said Section27 had misread the report.

“Our plan is quite extensive. The minister will soon meet with teacher unions to conclude a remuneration agreement as part of the plan.”

He said the department would present its progress report to the court this month, as was ordered in the ruling made in May. - Sapa

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