Today, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) activated its online ordering system for textbook procurement in order to ensure that textbook orders are delivered to schools on time for the start of the 2014 school year.
The Western Cape is the only Province in the country with such an online ordering facility.
The facility was introduced as a pilot in 2011 and launched in all schools in 2012. Following the success of the 2012 textbook procurement process, the WCED will again be using this system this year.
The electronic system was implemented to increase the efficiency of the textbook procurement process, allowing the WCED to monitor textbook orders, deliveries and shortages.
The system also 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.
Schools have been notified to capture their orders for CAPS-aligned textbooks in Grades 7 to 9 and Grade 12 by the 14th of June 2013 so as to ensure that their orders are processed timeously.
In order to assist educators to make informed decisions about the textbooks they wish to order for the 2014 school year, the WCED arranged for textbook exhibitions in each education district in May.
At the exhibitions, all the CAPS aligned textbooks that are included in the catalogues for 2014 were on display, giving educators, specifically subject heads, the opportunity to determine which books are most suitable in enhancing the delivery of the curriculum in their classrooms.
Schools have received a notice on how the procurement process for 2014 will be administered, with the relevant dates, deadlines and processes.
In Grades 7 to 9 the subjects requiring textbooks include, Home Language, First Additional Language, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Creative Arts, Technology and Economic Management Sciences.
Learners in Grade 12 will receive textbooks in Home Language, First Additional Language, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy and three additional textbooks which are in line with their subject needs.
This final stage of the plan will cost R175.8 million. Over R277 million has already been invested in the first two phases. The total cost is R452.8 million over a three year period. This is over and above the textbook component of the per capita norms and standards funding supplied to all our schools.
Altogether, this is a very substantial investment, but it is certainly worth it in supporting our teachers and learners in the delivery of the curriculum.
I appeal to schools to take this process seriously and to adhere to the deadlines for ordering set by the WCED. We would like to ensure that the textbooks ordered are delivered to schools by November, which will give schools enough time to report any wrong deliveries, shortages or errors before the end of the school year, as well as, complete their arrangements for book distribution within their school.
I am determined that this process will once again be the success it has been in the past.