The Northern Cape Department of Education (NCDOE) strives to ensure that learning and teaching takes place from Day One when schools reopen in January 2021. The Department regards Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) resources as essential to the effective running of our education system. Furthermore these resources form an integral and vital part of our education system and the effective management, utilisation and maintenance of this valuable resource will ensure access and support to the delivery of quality education for our learners.

LTSM retrieval for the Northern Cape Department of Education (NCDOE) is a serious activity aimed at ensuring that the state's resources are used efficiently and effectively. Too many learners are not accepting accountability in terms of preserving LTSM allocated to them. Many schools and educators perceive and accept that damaged and non-returned books are a given and therefore do not consider the exercise of retrieving such material as serious. Furthermore, a retrieval rate lower than 100%, impacts on already constrained budget allocations and the quality of education.

As the 2020 school year speedily draws to a close, the Department wants to call on all role players and the community at large to join the 100% RETRIEVAL OF TEXTBOOKS campaign and would like to remind all learners to return textbooks for the benefit of other learners in the province.

The provision of textbooks for every learner in the schooling system is one of the priorities of the Government and millions of rands are spent annually on LTSM. The Department has committed that every learner must have a core textbook for every subject in every Grade. If this resource is not protected and valued, money which otherwise could have been used for new innovative LTSM has to be used to replace books which are laying in homes and the community, not being utilised.

Learners are encouraged to take good care of the textbooks and ensure that it is well maintained. Parents are requested to honour their parental responsibility in ensuring that their children act responsibly and ensure that ALL textbooks loaned to their child is returned before the end of the 2020 academic year.

Principals of schools are required to ensure that maximum (100%) retention of textbooks is achieved. That calls for an effective textbook retrieval system at every school in the province.

NCDOE Circular 45 of 2020 guides schools on the retention of all LTSM in schools and retrieval of textbooks issued to learners. A reporting regime from schools will allow the provincial Department to assess the retrieval rate at the end of the year.

This campaign is aimed at all citizens, those in and out of school to ensure a strong culture of returning textbooks is emphasized. This is a societal issue. Let us ensure 100% retrieval of textbooks in the Northern Cape for 2020.