Unfair to Blame Masemola for Textbook Saga

Limpopo's education MEC Dickson Masemola, says it is ‘unfair’ that he is being blamed for the Limpopo textbook saga.

Masemola states that it's ‘very unfair’ because people cannot take the whole responsibility of the education challenge and place it on him. He says he is confused by calls for his resignation as he was stripped of his powers when the province was placed under administration.

Education Problems Unacceptable, Says Tutu

Nobel Peace laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, says children without schoolbooks in the third term and classes under trees are unacceptable South African problems.

Tutu points out that people going to bed hungry is unacceptable and further criticised the 30 percent benchmark to pass for South African school pupils, after 18 years of democracy.

Referring to these issues in remembrance of Nelson Mandela's birthday, Tutu says he is sure the former president is not entirely aware of the education situation in South Africa.

Mandela Day: Time for the Next Generation to Take Control

The season of the ‘imbongi’, our traditional praise singers, is upon us. July 18th is the 94th birthday of our founding father, and South Africans and foreign admirers alike will take 67 minutes on that day to commit to a good cause – each minute representing a year Nelson Mandela spent in active politics. But, while we commemorate the birthday of Madiba, his legacy has not survived as it should. Something is broken in our beautiful land.

NGO Slams Department Over Textbooks

SECTION27 says the Limpopo education department is ‘rotten’ and ‘incapable of meeting its Constitutional obligation to learners’.

SECTION27 director, Mark Heywood’s comment follows the release of the findings of University of the Witwatersrand Professor Mary Metcalfe’s probe into Limpopo textbook debacle.

Metcalfe recommends the revamp of the order delivery system while noting that communication channels are weak and sometimes non-existent.

Clinton to Boost South African Charity

Former United States president, Bill Clinton, says he is trying to get more support for a charity he helped found that provides training for impoverished South African schoolchildren in hopes they can carve out a better future for themselves.

Clinton, who expected to meet Mandela, a day before he celebrates his 94th birthday, says the charity wants to fill gaps that state services cannot meet by attracting private funding and volunteers.

NGO to Release Report into ‘Textbook Saga’

SECTION27 says it will release a report detailing the reasons why school textbooks were delivered so late into the year in Limpopo.

SECTION27 had taken the department to court to force it to deliver the books, after some schools in the province had been without books for seven months.

In the same vein, a presidential task team and the Limpopo government were also conducting their own investigations into the situation, which had been accompanied by media reports of textbook dumping and irregular ordering and tender processes.

Call to Mobilise and Hold Officials Accountable

Former Minister of Public Enterprises, Barbara Hogan, says South Africa's young people must mobilise and start holding the government accountable.

Speaking at Equal Education’s national congress in the Tembisa in the East Rand, Hogan, pointed out that, "Rather than holding marches students need to find much more innovative ways of organising."

Hogan argues that it cannot be said that just because things were bad in apartheid does not mean we cannot say things are bad now, adding that democracy always has to be strengthened and fought for.

Learners Urged to be ‘Politically Aware’

South African learners should use their political power in order to enforce the delivery of quality basic education, as political structures are not up to the task, according to Equal Education youth group head, Lwando Mzandisi.

Mzandisi points out that the school pupils at affected schools should have been politically aware enough to highlight the issue and know how to access political structures in order to effect change.

SA Education System Criticised

The country's education system came under scrutiny at the first Equal Education congress held in Tembisa.

Addressing the congress, Congress of South African Trade Unions general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, said 18 years into democracy, the country's education, despite its huge budget, still produced poor results.

Vavi also called for the investigation into the scandalous book saga that took place in Limpopo.

NGO Takes Programmes to Crèches

The Unlimited Child Programme, an organisation focusing on early childhood development, has identified nine crèches in Khayelitsha to address the dire need for training and support for caregivers in the community.

The Unlimited Child Programme chief executive officer, Cassy Healy, says that studies have proved that unless children from zero to seven years are exposed to “The inputs such as learning colours and shapes, their potential will be severely stunted.”


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