Textbook delivery on track: department

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

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Johannesburg - The basic education department has advanced past the recommendations made by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on the delivery of textbooks, it said on Thursday.

“Since the publishing of the preliminary report over a year ago in April 2013, the department engaged with the report and began effecting actions,” spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said in a statement.

“Most of the findings and recommendations contained within the report are already being implemented or form part of the department's plans going forward.”

The SAHRC released its investigative report into the delivery of textbooks to schools in 2012.

The investigation took place after widespread media reports in 2012 indicated major shortcomings in textbook delivery in Limpopo.

“In response to these reports, Parliament requested the commission to report on actions it intended taking to address this matter,” commissioner Lindiwe Mokate said.

The commission then conducted a preliminary assessment into whether schools in other provinces faced similar problems.

While the preliminary study showed other provinces beyond Limpopo also experienced problems, the data collected was not sufficient for the SAHRC to make a conclusive finding and recommend remedial action.

As such, the SAHRC constituted a national investigative hearing into the matter, which began in mid-2013 and ended early this year.

The investigation showed there were vast disparities in textbook delivery between the provinces.

Mhlanga said the department was currently being assisted by the Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) to develop a digital system that interfaced with provinces for the purpose of ordering, monitoring delivery and retrieval of Learner and Teacher Support Material (LTSM).

This was over and above the similar systems already in place in some provinces.

“It is hoped that the systems will be able to integrate effectively,” he said.

Sapa


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