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Mon Nov 24 23:29:03 SAST 2014

Limpopo textbook shortages to be fixed

Sapa | 05 March, 2013 15:37
Motshekga's textbook saga
Workers logging and packing textbooks at the Department of Education warehouse in Polokwane, South Africa. File photo.
Image by: Sowetan / Elijar Mushiana / Gallo Images

A shortage of textbooks in Limpopo should be rectified by Friday, the basic education department told MPs.

Briefing the portfolio committee on basic education, the department said a shortage of just over 42,000 books was reported at the beginning of the school year.

Over two million books were supposed to be provided in the province.

"Zooming in on Limpopo, what we would say is that we were at over 90 percent in terms of provision. What we would like to be at is 100 percent," department director Allan Subban said.

MPs questioned Subban's figure, saying this was at odds with the 99 percent provided by others in the department.

Acting deputy director general Hubert Mweli explained the discrepancy.

"When you report on rate of delivery to schools it will always be 99 percent, but when you go to whether each learner has received a textbook in every subject or not, the shortages will then come in," Mweli said.

The shortages resulted from a number of factors. These included pupils changing schools, districts and provinces, schools starting new grades, and schools starting new methods of learning and teaching.

Mweli said it was impossible to achieve a 100 percent delivery rate.

"You use the data of the prior years to order the material for the next academic year. Obviously the data will never tally 100 percent."

Mweli said shortages were not restricted to Limpopo, but happened in all provinces.

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