Pretoria - Good progress has been made since the national department took over education in Limpopo, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Thursday.
“As we speak, textbooks are being delivered to the central warehouse in Polokwane,” she told reporters in Pretoria.
The deadline for delivery of textbooks in Limpopo was Friday. The new textbooks would mainly be for grades one, two, three and ten, with top-ups for the other grades bought directly from publishers for R126-million.
Motshekga said that on June 11, trucks from districts in the region had started moving textbooks to warehouses and schools.
“We are therefore in time to meet the deadline for delivery to all schools by tomorrow.”
The national department took over the running of the province's education department in December, after maladministration. The department had more staff than was budgeted for, there was over-spending, and a shortage of textbooks and stationery for the 2012 school year.
“The province was paying for more teachers than it had money for,” Motshekga said.
“Other provinces had a similar problem, but acted in time.”
In her report on recent developments in her department, she said during the last financial year 72 percent of the budget allocated to recapitalise technical schools had been spent.
The preparations for the 2012 administration of annual national assessments were also under way. This would ensure teachers assessing students' work were competent.
She also announced her department had jointly signed an inter-governmental protocol agreement with the social development department and the South African Social Security Agency in March.
“This protocol agreement has paved the way for strengthening collaboration on improved service delivery, particularly for school children.”
A goal to have one textbook per child, per subject, by 2014, was set.
During Thursday's briefing Motshekga told reporters that after discussions she was pleased to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding on teacher development between the department and teacher unions.
“We work very well with our teacher unions,” she said.
The memorandum stressed better collaboration between the groups to promote teacher development.
There was a ceremonial signing held after the briefing between the department and unions such as the South African Democratic Teachers' Union. - Sapa