For Immediate Release
8 January 2022
Concerned parents and the LRC demand delivery of stationery and textbooks for all Eastern Cape Schools
MAKHANDA — Thousands of Eastern Cape schools are still without stationery and textbooks going into their fourth week of the school year. The Legal Resources Centre has sent a letter of demand to the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDOE) to compel them to comply with their constitutional obligation to ensure that learners are equipped to realise a quality education. The ECDOE has blamed budgetary constraints for the delay in the delivery of stationery and textbooks. The right to basic education is a unique socio-economic right as it is unqualified by availability of resources and is immediately realisable.
According to a memorandum from the ECDOE dated 12 January 2022, most schools in the Eastern Cape will only receive stationery between late January and the end of February 2022. Worryingly, the memorandum provides that textbooks will only be delivered to schools between March and May 2022. This is simply unacceptable. Learners need stationery to write and perform almost all their academic tasks, and they also need textbooks to follow the curriculum. Delivering textbooks to schools a few weeks before mid-year exams is a serious failure by the ECDOE.
The LRC has demanded that all stationery items be delivered to Eastern Cape public schools by 28 February 2022, and textbooks to be delivered by 31 March 2022. To ensure better transparency and oversight, the ECDOE has also been called on to provide lists of schools, broken down by district, indicating exactly when they will receive their stationery and textbooks and from which supplier(s). The ECDOE has also been called upon to set out steps to be taken to ensure that the same problems do not occur in 2023.
Concerned Eastern Cape parents have advised the LRC that their children do not want to go to school due to the lack of stationery and textbooks, and many indigent parents have been forced to borrow money in order to buy their children a few items of stationery.
Issued by the Legal Resources Centre
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