Department of Education needs to answer for abandoned Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) materials and unreturned exam scripts.
Yesterday I visited the storage facility where books and materials linked to the Department of Education’s adult literacy campaign were discovered in Modderfontein in my constituency. Oliver Schwankhart, Bongani Rainmaker Managing Director, the distributor for the KhariGude ABET material for the campaign, was kind enough to show us around the facility.
At least 5 million marked scripts and several pallets of books have been stored in this warehouse. Strangely, the scripts have been marked but never returned to the learners. Receiving these back would largely benefit the participants of the course as they would be able to gauge which areas of the course they stand to improve.
According to the distributors, the books in the warehouse form part of the initial stages of the campaign, which began in 2008, and have since been replaced with newer versions. However, these materials should have been donated to NGO’s or other civil organisations to make use of and not simply abandoned for more than two years.
The Department of Basic Education needs to explain why these marked scripts have not been returned to the adult learners and what they intend to do with the valuable educational material that has simply been left lying around.
South Africa has significantly high adult illiteracy rates. As such, every opportunity to provide people previously denied a decent education under the Apartheid regime needs to be embraced.
Abandoned education materials deny ordinary South Africans the chance to equip themselves with skills and move out of the poverty cycle.