Is corruption stopping South African children from learning?

By IndepthAfrica
In South Africa
Oct 3rd, 2012
1 Comment


South Africa’s Basic Education Department has been in court this week, accused of failing to deliver textbooks to schoolchildren in the northern Limpopo province. The issue has developed into an embarrassing scandal for the governing African National Congress, involving allegations of mismanagement and corruption, as the BBC’s Rob Walker reports.

Mrs Manaka’s maths class are struggling with a problem – how to calculate daily profits from a busy car wash.

She jots down a formula on the board and pupils begin to shout out their answers.

Since lessons started in January, students at Tlakulani Secondary School have also been wrestling with another, much bigger problem – how to study without the new textbooks the government was supposed to provide.

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Where is the money?”

End Quote Tondani Lydia Masiphephethu Limpopo parent

“Many times, we ordered the books but they didn’t deliver. We reminded them, we keep on ordering the textbooks, and they still didn’t deliver,” says Mrs Manaka.

She fears results will nose-dive in the fast approaching end-of-year exams.

Limpopo province, one of the poorest in South Africa, already has some of the worst performing schools in the country.

Yet despite an education budget of 22bn rand ($2.6bn; £1.6bn), the ANC-led provincial government has failed to provide any textbooks for this year.

Many parents are furious, particularly because some grades are studying a new curriculum this year. Read More

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