Still no Eastern Cape workbooks: DA

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Eastern Cape - Pupils in the Eastern Cape have still not received workbooks in the correct languages, the DA said on Friday.

“The DA's monitoring of schools in the Port Elizabeth district confirms that the education department has failed to address the province’s chronic workbook shortage by today's (Friday's) deadline,” Democratic Alliance Eastern Cape education spokesman Edmund van Vuuren said in a statement.

“The majority of schools contacted by the DA today (Friday) are either experiencing acute shortages of books or have received books in the wrong language.”

The provincial department of education was not available for comment.

Van Vuuren said Port Elizabeth district director Nyathi Ntsiko had promised that all the books would be in schools by Friday.

“A list of these schools (that did not receive books) was submitted directly to the Education MEC Mandla Makupula, during the portfolio committee meeting at the legislature today (Friday),” he said.

“The department is clearly not doing enough to address this crisis. We demand that the department deliver all workbooks to schools without delay, or we will pursue other avenues to force them to do so.”

On July 9, Van Vuuren said several thousand school workbooks had been returned to the provincial education department because they were in the wrong language.

“The DA witnessed hundreds of boxes of books being returned to the warehouse because schools had received the wrong language (workbooks) for their learners.”

He said in several cases isiXhosa pupils had been given seSotho workbooks, and that Afrikaans and English speaking pupils had received isiXhosa workbooks.

At the time, Eastern Cape education spokesman Loyiso Pulumani referred the matter to national spokesman Panyaza Lesufi.

“The national department is the one who orders the books. They would be able to comment on it,” he said.

Lesufi said the national department ordered books based on numbers given to it by the province.

“The other provinces all seem to be correct, so why is it only in the Eastern Cape (that is incorrect)? It must tell you something about that province.”

Van Vuuren said at the time that the department's database for Port Elizabeth showed that 25 370 literacy workbooks and 15 500 numeracy workbooks were still outstanding. - Sapa

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