Western Cape Education Department Invests Over R331 Million in Textbooks for 2014
Statement by Western Cape Education Minister, Donald Grant
I am delighted to announce that the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has completed deliveries of textbooks for Grades 7 to 9 and Grade 12 for 2014.
The department has now completed a three-year programme to provide books to support the introduction of the revised curriculum, known as the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS).
Education authorities started phasing in CAPS in 2012 in Grades R to 3 and Grade 10, in Grades 4-6 and 11 in 2013, and will complete the process in 2014 in Grades 7 to 9 and Grade 12.
In the last two months, the WCED has delivered 2.9 million textbooks, core readers and teachers’ guides for Grades 7 to 9 and Grade 12 for 2014, representing an investment of R257 million.
In addition, schools have ordered more than 1 million books for Grades 1 to 6, which will bring the total number of books ordered for next year to 3.9 million.
The total investment in books for 2014 will be more than R331 million.
By January, the WCED will have provided a total of 8.1 million books worth more than R605 million over the past three years.
For the first time, the department will have funded a book for every core subject for every learner in every grade.
This is over and above books bought by schools from funding that the department provides in terms of national norms and standards. Schools are required to spend about 50% of norms and standards funding on textbooks and other learning and teaching materials.
I would like to thank and congratulate all of our officials who have made this unprecedented roll-out possible and our schools for meeting our deadlines for ordering.
I am sincerely proud of what we have all achieved.
Our new online textbook ordering system has played a key role in making this success possible. The system has made it much easier for schools to order the books, for the department to process the orders, and for schools to verify deliveries.
Schools can use the system to order books from the national catalogue of books approved for CAPS during designated ordering periods.
The WCED worked with the Centre for e-Innovation in the Department of the Premier to develop the system, which we used on trial basis in 2011 to order the first round of textbooks for CAPS.
The WCED has since used the system for all orders after the success of the pilot.
The WCED is the only provincial education department to have developed such a system. The WCED is now advising other provincial departments. We are delighted and proud to share best practice with them.
Another success factor has been our efficient procurement process, particularly the way we invoice publishers. We have improved our invoicing system which has speeded up the submission of invoices to publishers.
This has made it much easier to pay publishers on delivery which has in turn resulted in faster delivery times. The WCED expects to finalise all outstanding payments for books for Grades 7 to 9 and 12 by the end of November 2013.
Now that all the administration and delivery has been efficiently handled for next year, I would like to appeal to all learners writing examinations and tests to ensure that they return their textbooks at the end of the school year.
We can buy another book every time a book is saved and so continue the process of ensuring text-rich schools.
It is important that all learners have the books they need for the start of the school year. The WCED has provided the books, it is therefore up to learners to protect and return books needed for the new school year.