JOINT STATEMENT BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION (DBE) & SECTION27
REACHED ON PROVISION OF TEXTBOOKS TO LEARNERS IN GRADES R, 1, 2, 3 AND 10 IN
21 June 2012
- Today representatives of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and SECTION27 met to try to resolve the ongoing challenge of availability of textbooks to learners in Limpopo and compliance with the court order of Judge Kollapen, which was delivered on 17 May 2012. The case was brought by SECTION27, Hanyani Thomo Secondary School and Mrs Lydia Masiphephethu.
- In a positive and constructive meeting, both parties agreed that it is essential to work together in the best interests of learners, to ensure the availability of textbooks and to do everything reasonable to remedy the situation of non-availability of textbooks over the last six months.
- The DBE openly and honestly explained the steps it is taking to supply books directly to the schools and the unexpected difficulties that it had encountered in Limpopo province, difficulties that the Section 100(1)(b) intervention by the national DBE is trying to address and overcome.
- SECTION27 explained that it acts only in the best interests of the learners, teachers, principals and parents who have approached it for support and that it is not anti-government, but pro-poor.
- The DBE noted the concern regarding the intimidation of principals in Limpopo who have spoken out on the problems their schools face. They stated strongly that the DBE and Minister does not countenance the intimidation of teachers or principals who report mismanagement or problems in their schools.
- On this basis it was agreed:
- That all textbooks would be delivered to all schools by or on Wednesday 27th June.
- The DBE will provide SECTION27 with written updates of the progress of the delivery on Saturday June 23; Monday June 25; and Tuesday June 26.
- On June 27th a joint public media statement will be made on the conclusion of delivery.
- That an official DBE circular will be issued on Friday 22nd June to all school principals informing them of this and requesting them to make arrangements with learners to return to school on Thursday 28th June to collect their textbooks. This will ensure that learners are able to study over the coming school holidays.
- That the ‘catch-up plan’ ordered by the North Gauteng High Court is essential in order to remedy the disadvantage that has accrued to the teachers and learners and that the plan will involve extra tuition and support to both learners and teachers. The details of the plan will be developed by the DBE with input from SECTION27. As required by the court order, the DBE will report to the court on the implementation of the plan.
- That we will maintain open channels of communication on all the above, but also seek to work constructively together in the interests of good governance of schools and quality education.
- That the written agreement we have reached will be made an order of court.
Panyaza Lesufi on behalf of DBE: 083 383 4517
Mark Heywood on behalf of SECTION27: 083 634 8806