Addressing the textbook issue

How lack of service delivery is hurting learners

Publisher donates textbooks to Limpopo
Supplying much needed textbooks
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga, has received a correspondence from a publishing house, keen to assist with the shortage of books in Limpopo.

The e-mail correspondene outlined the offer to donate up to 35 000 Grade 11 history textbooks for next year. The textbooks, to be supplied by New Generation Publishers (based in Durban), has been approved by the Department of Education for 2013.

As kind a gesture as this may be, it is not without terms and conditions.
The books will be donated on the following conditions:

- The details of the number of Grade 11 history learners in Limpopo are sent to the publishers as soon as possible;
- The textbooks are delivered to a single address nominated by the Limpopo Department of Education (LDE);
- The LDE takes responsibility for the distribution of the textbooks and the costs of transportation;
- The LDE undertakes to provide them with proof from each school receiving the textbooks which shows the number of history textbooks received by the schools, the number of pupils in those schools, the identity of the principal or deputy principal receiving the textbooks on behalf of each school, and the name, address, phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses of each school and their Grade 11 history teachers.

LDE spokesman Pat Kgomo said: “We are still considering this matter and need to apply our minds to it.” He said they considered it an urgent matter and would respond to the publisher as soon as possible.

Should the LDE accept the offer but fail to comply with the conditions, the publishers said the department would be liable for the R159 retail price of each of the 35 000 textbooks.

New Generation Publishers said it was calling on other publishers to work together with the government to solve the crisis in Limpopo.

“If a small publisher like us can donate R5m worth [of textbooks], imagine what would happen if the big publishers came on board,” said Razia Aziz.
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