Today SECTION27, Hanyani Thomo Secondary School and Tondani Lydia Masiphephethu, represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, again approached the North Gauteng High Court in relation to the failure by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to deliver textbooks to Limpopo schools for 2012.
This application follows the DBE’s failure to comply with two earlier court orders:
The DBE claims that textbook delivery is complete. However, SECTION27 continues to receive reports from schools across Limpopo that they are still waiting for textbooks. Some schools in the province have still received no textbooks at all. While it is clear that the DBE has failed to complete the delivery of textbooks to schools, we do not know precisely which schools are still awaiting textbooks. It is essential that the DBE takes urgent steps to find out.
The catch-up plan developed by the DBE fails to address the harm done to Grade 10 learners who have not had access to textbooks this year. It does not include details of extra tuition time for learners, nor does it mention support for teachers. The catch-up plan also shifts the responsibility for catch-up away from the DBE and on to individual schools, many of which are severely under-resourced. The DBE must take responsibility for addressing the harm it has caused.
Given the crisis that arose in relation to textbook procurement for 2012, SECTION27 is concerned about the process for procuring textbooks for 2013. This crisis cannot be repeated next year.
Today’s court application is for an order directing the DBE to do the following:
The DBE assumed direct responsibility for the obligations of the Limpopo Department of Education when it intervened in terms of section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution on 5 December 2011. The DBE is required in terms of the Constitution to take urgent steps to restore minimum standards of service delivery. Nine months after its intervention, however, the education crisis in Limpopo continues to deepen.
We are also still awaiting the report by the Presidential Task Team appointed to investigate the textbook crisis in Limpopo. SECTION27 hopes that this report will be made public and that all of those officials found by the Task Team to be responsible for the textbook crisis will be held accountable.
Founding affidavit: http://www.section27.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Main-affidavit-Limpopo-text-books-10-Sept-2012.pdf
Expert affidavit: http://www.section27.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Expert-Affidavit-BJ-Wilson-Thomson-Limpopo-text-books-Sept-20121.pdf