Textbook Funding Crisis in KwaZulu-Natal

Tom Stokes, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Education

THE KwaZulu-Natal education department does not have enough money to fully supply schools with new curriculum textbooks in 2013.

There are also massive shortages of maths, life skills and geography books in schools for Grades 1, 2, 3 and 10 for 2012 because the Department simply failed to order them.

The information was confirmed through the DA’s consultations with reliable sources in the publishing industry and the KZN Education Department.

The DA has written to KZN Education MEC Senzo Mchunu this morning, asking for an urgent explanation about the extent of the crisis.

According to our sources, the Department is currently lobbying publishers to provide large discounts on new curriculum textbooks for Grades 4, 5, 6 and 11 for the 2013 academic year.

Earlier this year the DA opposed the KwaZulu-Natal education budget precisely because the numbers did not add up. There was simply not enough money allocated to education to pay for the programmes that were presented. The province’s education budget for 20122013 has increased by less than 1% in real terms. Quite clearly last year’s problems were only going to get worse.

We expect a full report from the MEC as a matter of urgency and a plan for addressing this crisis. The alternative is disastrous and risks leaving thousands of schoolchildren without textbooks for 2013.

doc iconmec’s letter.docx

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