Newsletter 203 - Department of Basic Education (DBE) WORKBOOKS

These are articles which appears on the DBE website!

"The DBE workbooks, a project initiated by Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga during 2014, in addition to the existing Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM), added value to the improvement of quality education in South Africa.

During 2014 to 2019, the DBE has consistently provided Volume 1 and Volume 2 workbooks per semester to various provinces to strengthen quality learning and teaching from Grades R to 9.

Chief Education Specialist for LTSM, Mr Makondelela Tshitema, said: “For the past five years, the DBE has been providing high quality workbooks to schools across all nine provinces. The workbooks were designed to cover a wide scope of lessons in all eleven official languages, Mathematics and the Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT) in General Education and Training (GET). During this period, the DBE sent a total of 346,836,020 Grades R to 9 workbooks to all public schools making it the most impactful project in the Basic Education Sector. Workbooks also provide worksheets that are tied to the pace and level of the curriculum requirements, whilst providing challenging tasks for learners to develop a constructivist approach to learning”.

In his reflection on the success of the project, Mr Tshitema added, “Learning aspects covered by the workbooks include quality activities and ideas that portray good practice aimed at improving learning outcomes. It further offers learners an opportunity to acquire and apply skills in a systematic way, and ensure that learners are given adequate opportunities to consolidate their skills through written responses. The workbooks project should be commended because it provides a model of good practice, which guides teachers to improve their teaching through a variety of activities to reinforce Mathematical concepts and skills, as well as literacy language skills at an early age of a child’s schooling”.


These workbooks have been developed for the children of South Africa under the leadership of the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, and the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty.

The Rainbow Workbooks form part of the Department of Basic Education’s range of interventions aimed at improving the performance of South African learners in the first six grades. As one of the priorities of the Government’s Plan of Action, this project has been made possible by the generous funding of the National Treasury. This has enabled the Department to make these workbooks, in all the official languages, available at no cost.

We hope that teachers will find these workbooks useful in their everyday teaching and in ensuring that their learners cover the curriculum. We have taken care to guide the teacher through each of the activities by the inclusion of icons that indicate what it is that the learner should do.

We sincerely hope that children will enjoy working through the book as they grow and learn, and that you, the teacher, will share their pleasure.

We wish you and your learners every success in using these workbooks.

FAQs on Workbooks

The Department of Basic Education has committed to improving literacy and numeracy skills of learners. To achieve this, the Department has produced a series of workbooks to assist learners in Grade R-9.

What are the workbooks?

Each workbook is made up of 128 easy-to-follow worksheets for listening, reading and writing skills. The workbooks are organised into four worksheets per week, divided over eight weeks per term. All workbooks comply with the latest Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). For each year a learner (Gr1-9) will get two workbooks for each subject. Workbook 1, to used from January to June and Workbook 2, for use from July to December. Grade R learners will receive four books per year, one for each term.

Workbooks are distributed free of charge.

What is the point of the workbooks?

They provide every learner with worksheets to practise the language and numeracy skills they have been taught in class. They are also meant to help teachers track the progress of learners and provide extra support if needed. They are a simple way to structure learning activities for learners.

What happens to the workbooks at the end of the year?

Each and every child will own the workbooks. This means they can take them home and write in them.

Do the workbooks replace textbooks?

No. These are meant to be used with textbooks. They save the teacher from writing exercises and preparing their own worksheets.

Workbook Links

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