Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

6 June, 2012

WCED prepares to deliver 1.6 million textbooks in 2013.

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is preparing to deliver about 1.6 million textbooks needed for the 2013 school year. This is over and above the additional R240 million that schools can spend on textbooks from funding allocated to them in terms of national norms and standards.

The department is planning to provide the textbooks free of charge to learners in Grades 4, 5, 6 and 11.

This is in line with the commitment I made last year that over a three year period all children from Grade 1 to 12 will receive a textbook in every subject that they are taking. This year learners in Grades 1, 2, 3 received maths textbooks and readers and Grade 10 received textbooks in all the subjects they are taking. We are now preparing to roll-out the next stage of our plan to include learners in Grades 4, 5, 6 and 11.

We have aligned our roll-out with the implementation of the amended national curriculum, known as the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). CAPS is being introduced over a three year period, starting with the Foundation Phases and Grade 10, and then the Intermediate Phase (Grades 4 to 6) and Grade 10 in 2013 and the Senior Phase (7 to 9) and Grade 12 in 2014.

We will therefore target our textbook roll-out in the remaining Grades - Grades 7, 8, 9 and 12 - in the 2013/2014 financial year to ensure that we meet our strategic goals for textbook provisioning by 2014.

In order to make it easier for schools to order textbooks, schools can now go online and use the new textbooks ordering system which was introduced last year in a pilot for the ordering of books for Grade 10.

Schools will now use the system to order textbooks for Grade 4-6 and Grade 11 from the national catalogues due for publication in July this year. The WCED will distribute the catalogues electronically as soon as it is published.

The system offers schools a choice of textbooks from the national catalogues of CAPS-approved textbooks while also making it as easy as possible to place orders online.

In terms of the plan, the WCED is investing R144 million this year on textbooks for schools.

The WCED will supply every learner in Grades 4, 5 and 6 with five textbooks per learner for their choice of subjects in home language, first additional language, mathematics, natural sciences and technology, as well as, social sciences.

The department will provide six textbooks per learner in Grade 11 for six of the seven subjects taken in the grade.

The department has asked schools to use norms and standards funding to provide Life Skills textbooks for Grades 4 to 6 and Life Orientation textbooks for Grade 11.

The WCED has also asked schools to ensure that they update information on the department's central education management information system to ensure correct orders. The information must include the number of learners per grade, subjects and first and second languages.

Given the massive roll-out of textbooks and readers to schools, the Department has requested that schools implement effective textbook management plans to retrieve and retain books for at least three years.

We also appeal to learners and parents to look after their books and to make sure that they return the books at the end of the year in good condition.

Every book we save means that we can buy another book for another learner. In this way we can work together to make education better together.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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2012 Western Cape Education Department