Dear friends and comrades in Limpopo

The right to quality basic education is guaranteed by the Constitution. It is a right that must be fulfilled immediately and in full by the government, through the National Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Limpopo Department of Education (the provincial Department).

Despite this we are aware of the exceedingly difficult conditions in which teaching and learning take place, and the challenges faced by teachers, learners, parents and school governing bodies in many schools in Limpopo

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PRESS STATEMENT: Seven questions the Portfolio Committee on Education should ask about the Limpopo catch-up plan

The National Portfolio Committee on Education is meeting this morning to discuss the catch-up plan developed by the National Department of Basic Education. The Portfolio Committee allegedly rejected the plan last week on the basis that it was inadequate and did not sufficiently address the prejudice suffered by learners due to the lack of textbooks for over half of the academic year.

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DBE ‘catch up plan’ a violation of the court order and the agreement between SECTION27 and the Minister of Basic Education

Yesterday SECTION27 received the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) progress report on the implementation of the catch-up plan (this and the catch-up plan are attached). While we are still studying and seeking expert input on the catch-up plan, we believe that it is inadequate and a clear violation of both the 17 May order of court and the settlement agreement between SECTION27 and the DBE which was made an order of court on 26 June.

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SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: SECTION27 Statement in response to various misleading comments on the Textbook crisis in Limpopo

SECTION27 has noted various unfortunate statements on the text book crisis in Limpopo as well as attack on the legal action of SECTION27 and comments by COSATU General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi. Below we set out the facts about how this crisis has unfolded in the last seven months.

We believe there has been a collective failure of many organisations that represent the poor, including COSATU, SADTU, the churches, the ANC, school governing bodies, and civil society in allowing an educational crisis, such as that in Limpopo (and other parts of the country) to develop over months and years.

The most important lesson of the Limpopo text book crisis is a reminder of the need for ongoing monitoring and action to protect and advance the rights of the poor and vulnerable in South Africa, in this case learners.

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Joint statement issued by the Department of Basic Education and SECTION27 on the release of the Limpopo textbook delivery verification report

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) and SECTION27 published the report compiled by Professor Mary Metcalfe and her team following their investigation to verify the state of the delivery of textbooks to schools serving Grade 1-3 and Grade 10 learners in Limpopo Province.
We have accepted the findings and recommendations of Professor Metcalfe, which we set out in the report.

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SECTION27 Statement on Report by Professor Mary Metcalfe Verifying the Delivery of Textbooks to Limpopo Schools in terms of the Order of the North Gauteng High Court

SECTION27 and the Department of Basic Education released the ‘verification report’ into the delivery of textbooks to learners in grades 1-3 and grade 10 in Limpopo Schools.We thank Professor Metcalfe and her team. Not only have they done a great amount of work in the last two weeks, but they have made a personal sacrifice out of a commitment to the right to basic education.

SECTION27’s intention is not to vilify any particular person. However, we maintain our position that once the National Executive (Cabinet) decided to intervene in Limpopo under s100(1)(b) of the Constitution they assumed, through the DBE, full responsibility for meeting minimum standards for the delivery of basic education services within the Province.

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SECTION27 together with the Department of Basic Education will release the report on the verification of textbook delivery in Limpopo conducted by Professor Mary Metcalfe and her verification team at 12h45 today, Monday 16th July, at SECTION27’s offices: 6th Floor, Braamfontein Centre, 23 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein.

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