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KwaZulu-Natal - More than 120 schools in KZN have been without textbooks for the first six months of this year, but, unlike Limpopo, the provincial education department is dishing out the flak.
An internal department circular on the purchase of textbooks for grades 1, 2, 3 and 10 states that many schools failed to meet deadlines for the procurement of the books, and disregarded their budgets.
This meant that, as of June 20, they had not been supplied with textbooks for the implementation of the new curriculum and assessment policy statement (Caps), the circular said.
The department had already spent R199 million on Caps-aligned textbooks for more than 5 300 schools for the 2012 academic year.
Half of the 121 schools that failed to meet the textbook deadline, some of them former Model C schools in Durban, adjusted the value of their orders to be within their Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) funding, the circular said.
The instruction now is for their orders to be placed by the end of this month.
“As regards the non-compliant schools, it is proposed that the circuit managers be requested to solicit written explanations from the defaulting principals, as well as instruct (them) to resolve their requisitions in terms of the LTSM allocation,” the document says.
To avoid a repeat situation next year, the department has warned schools that all orders exceeding the allocated funding will be slashed without consulting them.
Head of department Nkosinathi Sishi said on Sunday that the textbooks in question were “additional material” for Caps.
Sishi said there was not a school in the province that did not have textbooks, but that the 121 defaulters would, for the first half of this year, not have had “all books for all learners in all areas”.
spokesman Muzi Mahlambi said that although the non-compliant schools represented a small percentage, it was still concerning. He said school governing bodies needed to be made aware that principals were dropping the ball.
Principals who responded to The Mercury said that either they had been supplied with textbooks despite problems with their orders, or that they had found other means to get their hands on the Caps material. - The Mercury