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Batho Pele Principles

Education Department's textbook delivery on track

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has noted media reports suggesting that the department has not adequately provided learners in Limpopo schools with text books.


It is important to note that it is the responsibility of schools to retrieve all books given to learners. It becomes unaffordable for government to keep on replacing books that are not returned to school at the end of each school year.


It is important to note that the inward and outward migration of learners at the start of the academic year places challenges on provinces to ensure every learner has a textbook for each subject. The period from January to March is used to get feedback from schools regarding shortages and for mop up.

The Limpopo Department of Education engaged in an intensive exercise to ascertain shortages for the 2014 implementing grades. A supplementary order to the value of R 17m was ordered to resolve shortages. The department has since delivered most of the books received from publishers. A similar exercise of ascertaining shortages for grades 4-6, 10 and 11 was engaged in with schools. Schools had until 28 Feb to report shortages. The department has completed capturing shortages and a top up order for these grades will be placed with publishers.

It has been well documented following the 2012 Limpopo Textbook shortages that the provision of textbooks is a provincial responsibility. Provinces either procure centrally or provide the budgets to schools through Norms and Standards funding for schools to procure textbooks themselves.

The department plays a monitoring and oversight function. Provinces are required to adhere to the sector plan for the procurement and delivery of LTSM. The DBE provides guidance and support and monitors reports from province on Learner Teacher Support Materials (LTSM) provisioning.

It is imperative to address assertions of a lack of funding; these find no base as the roll out of Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) textbooks for each learner in each of the implementing years was given priority. Provinces engaged with publishers and schools to maximize the value of the rand through central procurement.

The provision of textbooks for grades 7 - 9 and 12 placed the greatest strain on the sector as the number of textbooks that needed to be provided more than doubled. Provinces were advised to approach their respective provincial treasuries to use their 2014/15 budgets to mitigate and eliminate challenges that may be created by shortfalls in budgets to provide a textbook for each learner in each subject.

The Department Of Basic Education is and will continue to engage provinces on ensuring that all learners are provided with necessary LTSM.

Elijah Mhlanga
Cell: 083 580 8275

Issued by: Department of Basic Education