Angie's hotline is cold comfort

02 August 2012 - 02:16 By AMUKELANI CHAUKE

Thousands of pupils have gone without textbooks for the first half of the year, with several of them facing the possibility of having to repeat a grade.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga's solution? A hotline to establish how many schools in Limpopo are still without textbooks.

The hotline, which Motshekga said would be operational from Monday, has been set up three weeks after a probe by former Higher Education director-general Mary Metcalfe found that more than 33000 schools had not received textbooks.

Metcalfe recommended several strategies to prevent the collapse of education in Limpopo.

A hotline was not one of them.

A snap survey by The Times yesterday suggested that, at one school, 187 Grade 10 pupils had performed dismally in their June exams because of the non-delivery of textbooks. At another school, 381 pupils had to make do with only 57 textbooks, forcing them to make photocopies of the books at exorbitant cost.

Motshekga has described the late delivery of textbooks as "sabotage" by service providers.