The Eastern Cape education department is trying to mislead the public about burnt textbooks, the DA said yesterday.
“[The] department has embarked on a campaign to mislead the public rather than coming out with the truth about the destruction of textbooks at the Fort Beaufort warehouse,” Democratic Alliance provincial education spokesman Edmund van Vuuren said in a statement.
The department’s spokesman Loyiso Pulumani said on Monday that the books found in Fort Beaufort were destroyed during an arson attack.
He said the books were from an old education college which closed down more than 10 years ago and had no relevance to current textbooks.
“According to our photos, however, the destroyed material was in fact Intermediate Phase Math textbooks printed in 2004, as well as a practical Maths Study Guide for Grade 11 printed in 2007,” said Van Vuuren.
The books were still relevant for the current curriculum, he said, adding: “The curriculum will only change from 2013 onwards.”
The DA said its inspection team found the burnt textbooks, some still in their packaging, at the department’s district warehouse.
Like Limpopo, the Eastern Cape has also been plagued by textbook problems.
Earlier this month, several thousand school workbooks were returned to the Eastern Cape education department because they were in the wrong language.
When approached for comment, provincial officials referred all questions to the national department.
National spokesman Panyaza Lesufi said the department ordered books based on numbers given to it by the province.
“The other provinces all seem to be correct, so why is it only in the Eastern Cape? It must tell you something about that province,” he said.
At the time, Van Vuuren said the department’s database for Port Elizabeth showed that 25,370 literacy workbooks and 15,500 numeracy workbooks were still outstanding.