Non-delivery of books slated
THE South African Council of Churches yesterday slammed the lack of stationery, books and other learning materials in schools, saying it was tantamount to feeding pupils with darkness when they ask for light, ignorance when they ask for knowledge.
Almost 1.5million pupils in Limpopo schools could not have meals and more than 10000 were left stranded without transport on the first day of schools reopening on Wednesday.
The council was reacting to reports that schools in many parts of Limpopo did not have books, furniture and other learning materials.
This follows reports that the provincial department of education had failed to order books by the deadline in September last year.
SACC general secretary Mautji Pataki said the council found it "inexcusable that the material that was supposed to have reached the schools had not been delivered when schools reopened".
"In this embarrassing instance communities, pupils and teachers must refuse to be drawn into a mudslinging exercise that seeks to apportion blame to the national Department of Education, which also took over the administration of Limpopo in December when books could have long been ordered," he said.
Learning and teaching for grade 10 pupils could also not take place after the provincial department of education failed to order books in time for the newly introduced Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement for pupils in grades 1, 2, 3 and 10 this year.
Department of Basic Education spokesman Panyaza Lesufi has said: "It is only work books for grade 10 that were not supplied to schools. The provincial department has commissioned R700-million to purchase additional books for the new curriculum.
"But we had to communicate the budget with Treasury so that we are sure of the number of books and the budget needed before we place an order."
Lesufi said books should have been ordered between July and September last year, long before the department was put under administration.