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THE Congress of South African Students has called on President Jacob Zuma to urgently evaluate the performance of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in the wake of the Limpopo textbook fiasco.
Cosas said yesterday her department was in a state of collapse.
The students also called on the Department of Basic Education to lay criminal charges against the company that was contracted to deliver the textbooks found dumped at the side of the road this week, and to immediately cancel all government tenders with the company.
Expressing “utter disgust” at the “injustice” done to pupils in Limpopo, Cosas said the textbook debacle flew in the face of the pupils’ constitutional right to an education.
“We see the frustration encountered by the students as no less than a barbaric act that seeks to set the country backward from the progress that the ANC-led government has made in transforming the education quality of the majority,” it added.
Cosas acting secretary-general Tshiamo Tsotetsi said it demanded an evaluation of Motshekga’s performance “so we can see if she has been delivering according to the expectations of government”.
Tsotetsi said the company contracted to deliver textbooks had proved beyond reasonable doubt “that they do not harbour even just a bit of the interests of the learners at heart”.
Cosas has demanded a proper recovery plan for the Limpopo education saga.
“This… must be understood to be a do-or-die affair that requires the active participation of every stakeholder. Such a programme must be followed by a comprehensive monitoring mechanism so as to ensure that all those expected to take part do so.”
Cosas called on students in the senior grades and those in institutions of higher learning across the province to “go all out” in assisting the lower affected grades to cope.
“We view the situation of the province as one that requires a drastic change on how the department conducts its day-to-day business.
“Everybody who receives any form of a salary from the Education Department in the province is expected to be seen sweating in the interest of the full recovery of the learners in Limpopo,” Tsotetsi said.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted this week by consumer insights company Pondering Panda found that young South Africans are divided on the issue of whether Motshekga should be axed over the Limpopo textbooks debacle, with 42 percent of young people surveyed believing she should be fired, 39 percent saying she deserves a second chance and 19 percent saying they were undecided.
The survey, which made use of cellphones to gather data, found there were strong racial differences in attitude, with black respondents being “most lenient”.
“Only 36 percent thought she should be fired, compared to 48 percent who thought she should be given a second chance. All other race groups were more negative regarding her continued tenure,” the survey found.