LTSM stands for Learning and Teaching Support Material

This LTSM training is intended to guide the provision and management of Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) including textbooks, home economics equipment, science laboratory equipment, etc.

This LTSM training is aimed at all levels in the system, from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to provinces, districts and schools.

Key elements of LTSM provision and management addressed in this policy are as follows;

  • Development and production of LTSM;
  • Development of the National Catalogue of Core LTSM;
  • Procurement of LTSM;
  • LTSM Retention;
  • Utilisation of LTSM; and
  • Monitoring and evaluation of provision and management of LTSM.

For the purposes of this policy, Learning and Teaching Support Material (LTSM) is used as contemplated in Section 21 of the South African Schools Act 1996 (No. 84 of 1996) to include:

  • Stationery and supplies;
  • Learning material;
  • Teaching aids; and
  • Science, Technology, Mathematics and Biology apparatus;

The LTSM policy has been introduced to ensure that all the injustices and inequalities of the past, with regards to learner support, are addressed. The policy ensures production and selection of quality LTSM, and makes such available to all learners in public schools

Every learner and teacher must have access to the minimum set of core material required to implement the National Curriculum Statement Grades R-12. The issue of textbook coverage has two dimensions, addressed in this LTSM policy, namely supply and retention. In addition to coverage, the other key elements of optimal LTSM usage for improved educational outcomes are ensuring appropriate quality of the material.

Guiding Principles of LTSM

Redress and equity

Redress and equity are fundamental principles enshrined in the South African Constitution. Redress and equity within the LTSM provisioning context are crucial, as the injustices of the past had to be corrected. These require working with inherited systems to provide the most equitable solution.

Social cohesion

Social cohesion requires and recognising the value of a functional LTSM provisioning in the building of community and social capital and reflecting the culture and values of the school and broader community.

Resource provision

Learners and teachers have to be provided with a wide variety of curricular resources, exposing learners to diverse ideas, experiences and opinions. This will engender respect for diversity and democracy. Resource provision ensures that every learner and every teacher has access to a range of quality resources that are age appropriate, current and relevant, and which inculcate a love of reading and encourage the enquiring mind.

Flexibility of access

This refers to enabling access to the resources, including digital resources throughout the school day, and after school. This must accommodate universal access for Inclusive education.


All resources should be properly accounted for through a strong administrative and management programme.

Independent learning

All learners and teachers should be information literate and independent lifelong learners and readers. This involves providing a broader base of provision including an information service for youth towards building the kind of knowledge society which South Africa aspires.

Learner support

Learners should be supported in the acquisition of information literacy skills, including digital literacy, to access, process and use information resources in various formats; printed media, audio-visual and digital formats e.g. e-books, where accessible and appropriate. Furthermore a culture of reading and writing must be instilled in them.

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