Pupils left in the lurch
With only three weeks to go before matric exams, the Basic Education Department has still not delivered the outstanding textbooks to schools in Limpopo.
Yesterday, the department reached an out-of-court settlement with advocacy group Section 27 in which it promised to deliver the textbooks by October 12.
According to the agreement, it must submit an affidavit to Pretoria High Court judge Jody Kollapen, detailing its progress in delivering the books.
The agreement also compels the department to deliver all textbooks for next year by December 15.
In May, Kollapen ordered the department to deliver the books by June 15. But the department failed to comply and asked for an extension to June 27, an undertaking that was made an order of the court on July 5.
Section 27 returned to the Pretoria High Court yesterday for another application for an order to force the department to deliver the textbooks in Limpopo. This after it emerged there were still schools that had not received textbooks.
Umalusi, the council for quality assurance for the department, said it was confident that all schools, including those in Limpopo and Eastern Cape, were ready for the exams.
"Limpopo is as ready as all other provinces for exams," said Umalusi CEO Mafu Rakometsi.
He said Grade 12s in Limpopo, unlike Grade 10s, had received textbooks.
Kollapen is expected to rule on Friday whether the department has done enough to help pupils catch up.
Section 27 demanded that the department revise its catch-up plan for Grade 10s to incorporate extra tuition time and content knowledge support for teachers.
The advocacy group wanted this plan to be implemented throughout 2013 to ensure effective catch-up.
But the department argued that the catch-up plan in place was adequate and that the spring "boot camp" for pupils was under way.