30% of surveyed Free State schools don’t have all the textbooks they need

Patricia Kopane MP

DA Free State Leader

A third of Free State schools surveyed by the Democratic Alliance do not have all the textbooks they need.

Our public representatives fanned out across the Free State over the last week to assess the readiness of schools at the beginning of the new school year. We randomly selected 20 schools to visit.

Of the 20 schools we visited, 6 did not have all the textbooks and teaching materials they needed.

The 6 principals have asked that their schools do not be named to the media. But we can confirm that the following problems exist:

School 1 No Grade 11 Life Orientation textbooks
School 2 No Afrikaans textbooks for any of the grades

No Grade 10 Business Studies textbooks

School 3 No teacher’s guides for all subjects
School  4 No Grade 12  Maths textbooks

No Grade 8 Maths textbooks

School 5 No Grade7 Maths, Sesotho and Life Orientation textbooks

No Grade 8 Life Orientation, Art, Sesotho or English textbooks

School 6 No Grade 7 Life Orientation textbooks

The missing textbooks cover important subjects like Life Orientation, various languages and Maths across a number grades.

The department’s claims that almost 100% of schools received all the textbooks they need is in serious doubt. We only surveyed 20 schools and found 6 with serious problems. There could be dozens more with textbook problems in the Free State, not to mention hundreds more across the country.

I wrote to Minister Angie Motshekga and MEC Makgoe to inform them of the findings of our oversight visits. We know exactly where these schools are and what they need. I will send the lists of required textbooks per school to the department and urge speedy action to deliver the necessary textbooks. I will also formally request that the Minister initiate a full audit of textbook delivery in the Free State to determine exactly what the true state of textbook delivery is for the 2014 school year.

Our sample indicates that up to 30% of schools in the province are experiencing problems.