The DA has written to Education MEC Mandla Makupula demanding an urgent response to serious claims by Minister Angie Motshekga that the Eastern Cape is responsible for chronic problems in workbook deliveries to schools.
According to the Minister’s figures, 24 862 workbooks were sent to schools in the wrong language and a further shortage of 14 711 workbooks was reported for the first half of the year, as of 5 June 2012.
The Minister blames these problems on incorrect school and learner numbers provided to the national department by the Eastern Cape.
The Eastern Cape apparently failed to tell the national Department about an additional 115 544 learners that needed books. The province also gave data for Grades at 2055 schools that don’t exist.
These are very serious allegations being made by the Minister. If true, it means that the Eastern Cape Education Department has no accurate idea at all of how many learners and schools need workbooks each year.
The Minister claims the national Department picked up these discrepancies through its annual survey of school and learner numbers in the province.
The claims are made in a parliamentary question reply to my colleague in the National Assembly, Annette Lovemore. For the reply, click here.
The DA also believes that the workbooks shortage figures provided by the national Department are far below the actual shortages in schools. Recently we discovered a shortage of 2 300 books at just one school in the Queenstown district.
These latest figures again highlights the dysfunctional state of the Education system that is destroying opportunities for so many children to have successful lives and careers.
Until now, the MEC has failed to respond to the DA’s written correspondence on workbooks shortages in the province. As a result, the Public Protector is now investigating the matter at our request.
The DA demands an urgent response from the MEC to the Minister’s allegations for the sake of the learners who will continue to go without books if these not problems are not resolved.