Zisanda Nkonkobe and Nolihle Gulwa
THE provincial Education Department has made history by ensuring that all pupil/teacher support materials(LTSM) were delivered to schools within the province ahead of the start of the 2013 academic year.
This is in line with the pledge made by the department in its "state of readiness for the new academic year" commitment to ensure schools were adequately resourced to allow teaching and learning to take place from day one of the school year.
According to department spokesman Mali Mtima, 85% of textbooks and 98% of stationery had so far been delivered to schools in the Eastern Cape.
Deliveries began in late November and the departmental warehouses had stood empty since last month, he said.
Those materials which had not yet been delivered, Mtima said, were because some schools had no storage facilities. Others could not confirm delivery since the principals could not be reached.
"All LTSM were moved from the department and sent to the relevant districts for distribution to schools," Mtima said.
"The outstanding deliveries are those from district offices to schools as some schools do not have storage facilities and opted to keep their books in the district storage centres."
Mtima said the department had formulated a mop-up plan to deal effectively with those schools which still needed stationery and textbooks. This plan, he said, would be coupled with physical visits to check if deliveries had indeed happened.
"This historic achievement before schools open is due to rigorous planning by the department to ensure that schools are functional from the first day in 2013."
In a snap survey, several schools contacted across the Eastern Cape confirmed receipt of the teaching material.
Alphendale High School principal Clive Prince confirmed the school had received workbooks for both Grade 8 and 9. He said, however, that they were still waiting for their stationery.
In Cradock, Tucker Bridge Primary School principal Nomathemba Zokova said they had received workbooks, textbooks and stationery between October and November last year.
SEK Mqhayi principal Funeka Mzilikazi said the school had received textbooks but because she had not been there to receive workbooks for Grade 9 they had yet to be delivered.