Don't prescribe only one textbook for every South African child
For decades, our government has tried to get textbooks to every South African schoolchild. It has been expensive and complicated, largely because of our long history of unjust education.
In a bold attempt to solve this problem, the Minister and her team have proposed buying only one textbook (per subject, per grade) for every South African schoolchild.
We believe this will do great harm, and are asking her to change course.
* Single textbooks narrow the minds of our people: imagine if all our schoolchildren all read only one version of history, life orientation, and literature.
* By picking one textbook, the government would create monopolies for the people that produce them. Monopolies stifle innovation and, without ongoing competition, lead to higher prices over time.
* Our learners are diverse. Different learners need different kinds of textbooks, chosen school by school for their specific needs.
We ask the Minister to consider other ways to reduce costs and increase access, and embrace a model that allows a diverse range of textbooks to thrive in our schools. We must all work harder to give our children textbooks, but we should never limit their education by limiting diversity.
For background information, please visit morebooks.co.za.
Note: This petition represents an official public submission to the South African Department of Basic Education from its signatories on the proposed National Policy for the Provisioning and Management of Learning and Teaching Support Material for Grade R–12, specifically in response to clause 7.7.1: one book per subject per grade.
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