Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Johannesburg - A publisher has offered to donate textbooks worth more than R5.5 million to Limpopo schools - on condition they are actually delivered.
New Generation Publishers, based in Durban, sent an e-mail to Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga outlining the offer to donate up to 35 000 Grade 11 history textbooks for next year.
These textbooks have been approved by the Department of Basic Education for 2013.
In the e-mail, the publishers said the textbooks have a market value of R5.565m and they are willing to donate the books free on the following conditions:
- “The details of the number of Grade 11 history learners in Limpopo are sent to the publishers as soon as possible;
- “The textbooks are delivered to a single address nominated by the Limpopo Department of Education (LDE);
- “The LDE takes responsibility for the distribution of the textbooks and the costs of transportation;
- “The LDE undertakes to provide them with proof from each school receiving the textbooks which shows the number of history textbooks received by the schools, the number of pupils in those schools, the identity of the principal or deputy principal receiving the textbooks on behalf of each school, and the name, address, phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses of each school and their Grade 11 history teachers.”
LDE spokesman Pat Kgomo said: “We are still considering this matter and need to apply our minds to it.”
He said they considered it an urgent matter and would respond to the publisher on Thursday.
Should the LDE accept the offer but fail to comply with the conditions, the publishers said the department would be liable for the R159 retail price of each of the 35 000 textbooks.
New Generation Publishers said it was calling on other publishers to work together with the government to solve the crisis in Limpopo.
“If a small publisher like us can donate R5m worth [of textbooks], imagine what would happen if the big publishers came on board,” said Razia Aziz.
A number of Limpopo schools have been without textbooks this year following delivery problems and mismanagement.
Section27, a civil rights NGO, said earlier this year that they were told by the National Department of Education and the LDE that the books would be delivered by mid-March. This deadline was missed, and they were told they would be delivered by mid-April and when this deadline was missed, by mid-May.
Section27 was then granted a court order forcing the departments to deliver the textbooks by June 15. The national and provincial departments again missed the deadline.
Eventually the national department said it had delivered textbooks to 98 percent of schools in the province.
However, an independent team, which was set up to investigate this claim, found that only 15 percent of textbooks had been delivered.