Is FS Education on the brink of a textbook crisis?

By Mariette Pittaway, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:

The DA is concerned after a whistle-blower within the Free State Provincial Department of Education informed us that the department may not be able to meet its textbook, learning support material and stationery requirements for all grades for the 2016 school year due to financial mismanagement and poor planning.

It is alleged that the department is in need of almost R100 million to meet the Free State’s textbook, learner support material and stationery requirements for next year.

There were some allegations earlier this year that the department undersupplied some textbook and learning support material for the current school year.

The DA submitted a written question to Education MEC Tate Makgoe in May this year asking whether the department has failed to deliver all textbooks and learning support material for all grades in the Free State, and if so, what steps department will take to rectify the matter. In addition, the question asks what measure the department will put in place to ensure all textbook and learning support material requirements for the 2016 school year will be met.

MEC Makgoe has failed to answer this specific question, along with 18 other basic education related questions this year. It appears that MEC Makgoe is trying his best to hide the truth from the people of the Free State and through his reckless action, is playing a dangerous game with the education of our learners.

The DA will place all outstanding written questions submitted to MEC Tate Makgoe this year on the order paper for oral reply for the next sitting of the legislature. If he has nothing to hide he should’ve answered these questions months ago.

The DA does not play politics with the education of learners. Where the DA governs we apply all available resources to improve on the quality of education to our learners. The DA understands that education is one of the main tools at our disposal to drive back poverty, eradicate the legacy of Apartheid, narrow the inequality gap and empower our future generations to become productive, prosperous and successful individuals.