Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

1 August, 2012

The Western Cape opens orders for Primary School textbooks.

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

In order to ensure that textbooks are delivered to schools on time for the start of the 2013 school year, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has already begun the process of ordering textbooks for schools.

Next year, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) will be implemented in Grades 4, 5, 6 and 11. In line with our commitment to ensure that every child has a textbook in each of the core subjects they are taking, the WCED will be supplying all Grades 4 to 6 learners at public schools with five textbooks per learner, i.e. a textbook for each subject, with the exception of Life Skills, which must be purchased from school funds.

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

Today, primary schools in the Western Cape can begin ordering their textbooks for Grades 4 to 6 on the WCED's new on line ordering facility which was piloted last year.

The Grades 4 to 6 online ordering facilities will be active only during the period 1 to 15 August 2012. Schools must ensure that their orders are captured and signed off before 15 August 2012 so as to ensure that their orders are processed timeously.

Yesterday marked the end of the Grade 11 ordering process. High schools were required to order the requisite Grade 11 textbooks using the on-line system between the 16th and the 31st of July.

In order to assist schools in making appropriate textbook selections, the WCED, in collaboration with publishers, is holding book exhibitions at selected venues in all education districts this week. Teachers are encouraged to attend these exhibitions where approved textbooks will be on display. Schools have also been sent an electronic version of the national catalogue, issued by the national Department of Basic Education (DBE), of approved Grades 4 to 6 and 11 textbooks and readers.

There are currently no textbooks for Grade 4 to 6 in Natural Science and Technology and English Accounting for Grade 11 on the approved National Catalogue. However, schools will be given an opportunity to order textbooks for these subjects when the DBE makes the Addendum Catalogues available to provinces in September 2012.

Once the orders have been completed and signed off, the WCED will begin to prepare for final delivery before the end of the school year, well in advance of the 2013 school year.

We expect to deliver approximately 1.6 million textbooks.

The cost of this roll-out is approximately R144 million. 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 roll-out is aligned 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 11, and then the Intermediate Phase (Grades 4 to 6) and Grade 11 in 2013 and the Senior Phase (Grades 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.

We encourage all our primary schools to ensure that they complete their orders by the 15th of August.

If we all do our bit and work Better Together, we can ensure effective and fast delivery before the end of the school year!

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  021 467 2377 or

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2012 Western Cape Education Department