Q: You’ve already mentioned an ‘approved catalogue’. What exactly is this?
A: To ensure that schools only receive textbooks that meet the DBE’s standard (and that are fully CAPS compliant) they will appoint teams of people who will look at the books submitted by the various publishers and will screen them according to a list of set criteria. As mentioned only the ‘best’ eight books will then be put on a list which will be sent to schools. This list is the approved catalogue and it will contain information such as the name of the book, who the publisher is, the price of the book, the book’s unique ISBN number and possibly a short synopsis of the book. Teachers will only be able to prescribe of these books for their learners.
Q: Who are the people that decide which books appear on the catalogue?
A: These are people that are recruited by the DBE for this specific role. They could be subject experts, DBE officials or even teachers. The details of these people are kept anonymous so that they cannot be influenced before the actual screening process and to make sure that the screening is done in a fair and ethical manner.
Q: How will the ordering process work?
A: Once the approved catalogue is circulated to schools in August/September teachers will be required to review the samples they have been given and to make a selection. They will complete the catalogue by indicating which book they wish to prescribe and how many copies are needed for their learners. These completed catalogues will then be sent back to the DBE’s district offices where the data will be consolidated and sent to the Provincial head offices. The procurement department in each province will then place the orders for the books required. Publishers will then print and deliver these books accordingly. All of this needs to be done before schools re-open in January 2012.
Q: What if I choose a textbook, but find that it actually doesn’t suit my needs. Can I change my decision?
A: Unfortunately not. This is why it will be so important for you to review the samples you are given and to make an informed decision. Once you have indicated the book you wish to prescribe, the information will be sent to the DBE and they will place the order. This means you will have to use the book you have selected for the next four years, with top-up orders being made for damaged books or increased learner numbers only. Please ensure you are happy with the book you choose before indicating your decision on the catalogue.
Q: How many books do I choose for my classroom?
A: The Minister of Education has indicated that every learner must have a textbook for every subject he/she is taking. This means that you choose one textbook from the approved catalogue for each one of your learners. In other words, if you teach Geography at Grade 10 and have 30 learners in your class, then you will choose one of the eight approved books and will indicate that you need 31 copies (one for yourself and one for each of your learners). You will also be allowed to order the accompanying Teacher’s Guide for yourself.
Q: Will there be a book available in my home language?
A: This will depend on the results of the DBE’s screening process. For the Foundation Phase, Maskew Miller Longman has developed Mathematics, Language and Life Skills books in all of the home languages. For Grade 10, Maskew Miller Longman has developed books for all of the content subjects in both English and Afrikaans, and ‘Home Language’ in all official languages. Again, it will depend on the DBE screening process as to whether these books will be on the approved catalogue.
Q: How much will these new textbooks cost?
A: The DBE has provided us with ‘price-bands’ that our textbooks need to be within, so that they can be afforded by the provincial budgets. The prices will be finalized in time for when the approved catalogue is circulated. What we can confirm is that the books will not be more expensive than the current books used in schools.
Q: So what exactly will you have on offer for the CAPS?
A: Again, this depends on the results of the DBE’s screening process. Historically, Maskew Miller Longman has had the largest range of textbooks available in South Africa and we have developed two series for Foundation Phase and Grade 10 teachers.
For the Foundation Phase our series are:
For Grade 10 our series are:
Q: Why should I choose your textbooks?
A: For three very basic reasons:
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