Formative Evaluation of Textbooks and Workbooks


Textbooks and workbooks have long been considered a critical challenge within the South African education system. The Textbook Development Institute notes that:
Concern about the quality and effectiveness of the textbooks used by educational institutions is the most neglected and underrated factor impacting on the quality of education in South Africa. Teachers are often blamed for the poor standard of education in the country. Little attention is however given to the poor standard or quality of the resources, particularly textbooks, which teachers are required to work with.1
These issues have been identified as a major concern by the Presidency, and the Department of Basic Education was required by a Presidential injunction to develop and provide resources (and specifically workbooks) that would assist learners to improve performance in the critical areas of literacy and numeracy.2 The DBE has undertaken a major initiative to provide Mathematics and Language workbooks to learners in order to accelerate progress towards Education for All, in terms of access to and quality of education. In addition to the development of workbooks, the DBE mandated that English as a first additional language (FAL) be introduced from Grade 1 in 2012.
The first delivery of workbooks to schools took place in 2011. The second delivery took place in 2012. The workbooks for Grades 1 to 9 were aligned with the CAPS. The optimal use of the workbooks, the Annual National Assessment (ANA), and the CAPs are seen to be the three priorities that will drive improvements in the Basic Education sector in South Africa.


Evaluation Number:
Report Approval:
28 February 2013
19 May 2016
Initiated By:
The Department of Basic Education
Undertaken By:
The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Evaluation Period:
October 2011 - February 2013
Evaluation Area:
National Outcome:
National Outcome 1: Improved quality of basic education.
Commissioned By:
Other (United Nations Children's Fund, South Africa)
Evaluation Type:
Evaluation Subject:
Other ()
Geographic Scope:

Evaluation Documents

File Name
Consultative UNICEFDBEEvaluation of workbooks and textbooks200813.pdf
421 Formative Evaluation of Textbooks and Workbooks.pdf

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