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SECTION27 Satisfied With Textbook Delivery

The civil rights group, SECTION27, says it is satisfied with the delivery of textbooks and workbooks to Limpopo schools.

In a press statement, the organisation points out that, "We are encouraged that most schools in Limpopo, who had received no textbooks before the commencement of the 2012 academic year, have received their textbooks and workbooks for 2013."

It says that, "These schools have followed up directly with the [department] and have been assured that the outstanding textbooks and workbooks will be delivered by the end of this week."

Out of Court Settlement for Norms and Standards Case

Non-governmental organisation, Equal Education (EE), says that Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, has agreed to promulgate minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure.

EE chairperson, Yoliswa Dwane, points out that, "In an out of court settlement ... Minister Motshekga has agreed to promulgate regulations to create binding minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure."

She says that according to the settlement, the norms and standards will be published for public comment by 15 January 2013, and finalised by 15 May 2013.

Some Schools Without Textbooks - SECTION27

Lobby group, SECTION27, says some schools in the Limpopo province are still without their textbooks.

In a press statement, the organisation points out that, "While we acknowledge that more than one million textbooks have been delivered to Limpopo schools, as a result of the efforts of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), some textbooks have still not been delivered."

Activist Criticises SA Education System

Anti-apartheid activist, Mamphela Ramphele, has compared the state of education in South Africa to a sinking ship.

Speaking at the third congress of teacher's union, the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) in Johannesburg, Ramphele, the founder of the Citizens Movement, an organisation that lobbies for social change, pointed out that, "I'm not just talking about the textbooks. Vacant teacher's posts must be filled, and not just filled for the sake of being filled - we need experts and specialists," she explains.

Children Learn Under Tree After Protests

Pupils at the Tlotlang Thuto Middle School in Bona Bona, North West, are worried that they might not make it to the next grade - not because they are ill-prepared for the examinations - but because of the conditions under which they have to learn.

Some of them study in a partially covered classroom and the rest under trees, while others sit on broken chairs and stones.

After their school was destroyed by angry protestors in July 2012, on rainy days or when its dusty, they have to be sent home.

56m Youth Without Primary Education

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) says that over 56 million young people in sub-Saharan Africa have not completed primary school and lack basic skills for employment.

According to a new report, the African leg of the United Nations Global Monitoring Report on Education, which was released by the UNESCO in Soweto, "In sub-Saharan Africa about 30 million [children] are still missing out on primary school and 22 million are out of secondary school, missing out on vital skills for future employment."

DG Welcomes Any Probe Into the ‘Textbook Saga’

The Department of Basic Education director-general, Bobby Soobrayan, has blamed budgetary constraints and pupil data problems for the department's failures.

Responding to calls for him to be investigated by the Public Service Commission over the textbooks saga in Limpopo, Soobrayan is happy that the matter has been referred to the commission, which will give him an opportunity to respond to whatever allegations have been made.

NGOs Slam Intimidation at Limpopo Schools

The National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) and rights organisation, SECTION27, have told school governing bodies it is their right to govern schools and speak out against problems they face.

NASGB secretary-general, Matakanye Matakanye, has been quoted as saying that, "Some school governing bodies could not come to the workshop because they were told by principals, 'if you speak out about problems you will not be recognised as school governing bodies'."

Bizos Criticises Govt Over Education Problems

Human rights lawyer, George Bizos, says it is unforgivable that some public schools are without crucial textbooks while others have no libraries and computers.

Bizos, who represented former president Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters against prosecution under apartheid, argues that the provincial and local tiers of government are failing South Africa as they often do not spend available funds meant for education facilities and other crucial infrastructure.

SECTION27 Heads to Court Over Textbooks

SECTION27 has filed papers at the North Gauteng High Court after it emerged that hundreds of Limpopo pupils are still without textbooks and are also facing an inadequate departmental catch-up plan.

The organisation decided to go back to court after the basic education department failed to comply with two court orders forcing it to deliver textbooks to Limpopo schools that had been without books since the beginning of the school year.

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