The DBE is responsible for ensuring that each learner is provided with the minimum set of textbooks for a particular grade and for the development of National Catalogues of textbooks for provinces to procure from. The Department has worked extremely hard over the years to positively change the learning and teaching landscape in South Africa, with various research and reports bearing testimony to that. Although expanded access to learning and teaching material has been at the centre of this positive shift, continued discussions are necessary.
The Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) Roundtable will be hosted by Minister Angie Motshekga at Sol Plaatje House, Pretoria on 1 April 2014 to discuss issues. The theme for the LTSM Roundtable is “Demystifying the issues on Learning and Teaching Support Materials”. The DBE has invited all interested stakeholders, such as publishers, universities, NGOs, and other government departments to attend the discussions.
The key objectives of the 1st LTSM Roundtable are to clarify the policy, plan and vision on LTSM and also allow for input; explain the DBE’s position and the rationale behind the initiative, obtain views and make an effort to mobilise support; consider strategies to expedite the use of digitised LTSM; utilise the inter-governmental agreements to maximise resources; and to consider strategies to expedite the transformation of the publishing industry. The desired outcomes of the 1st LTSM Roundtable are, amongst others, to establish a clear understanding of the LTSM Policy and plan, to remove current fears and misconceptions and to mobilise support in the book publishing and manufacturing industry. It is also imperative that a 100% textbook retrieval rate is achieved and that the Textbook Retention Plan is strengthened in schools.