The affordable education loan option
Opposition parties on Friday queried Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's claims that her department was making great strides.
The department appeared incapable of delivering textbooks to schools and correcting internal problems, the Democratic Alliance and Congress of the People said.
DA education spokeswoman Anette Lovemore said Motshekga should learn to acknowledge her mistakes.
“If she cannot admit to her department’s mistakes, Minister Motshekga virtually ensures that they will be repeated again. Learners cannot be allowed to face the same chaos again.”
Cope spokesman Willie Madisha said the government appeared incapable of achieving basic targets.
“Simple tasks like replacing mud schools with properly built schools and the even simpler task of delivering textbooks to learners seems beyond the capability of government.”
Motshekga told reporters in Pretoria on Thursday progress was being made since the national department took over the running of education in Limpopo.
“As we speak, textbooks are being delivered to the central warehouse in Polokwane,” she said.
The deadline for delivery of textbooks in Limpopo was Friday. The new books would mainly be for grades one, two, three and ten, with top-ups for the other grades bought directly from publishers for R126 million.
Lovemore said Motshekga's assurance textbooks would be delivered on time was not a victory.
“That a court of law had to direct the department to do its job, and stop violating learners' human rights, is no achievement.”
Madisha said: “The minister must realise that the education catastrophe is not in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo only, as she seems to optimistically outline.
“Other provinces are also suffering when it comes to methods and infrastructure used to engineer the learning processes.”
Lovemore said a National Council of Provinces finance report showed systemic problems existed within the department. These included a dysfunctional administration and payment delays for service providers.
Madisha said the constantly changing curriculum suggested the department did not know how to deal with its current problems.
The national department took over the running of Limpopo's education department in December, following maladministration. The provincial department had more staff than was budgeted for, there was over-spending, and a shortage of textbooks and stationery for the 2012 school year.
Motshekga said the goal was to have one textbook per child, per subject, by 2014. - Sapa