Education MECs on Thursday reiterated their support for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga amid calls for her resignation over the Limpopo textbook saga.
"The CEM [council of education ministers] noted with deep disappointment unwarranted media attacks on the basic education sector, in particular, on the character of Minister Angie Motshekga," it said in a statement.
"The sector strongly reaffirms its support, confidence [in] and leadership of the minister."
Calls for Motshekga to quit were sparked by the late or non-delivery of textbooks to schools in Limpopo. Some grades received textbooks seven months after the school year started, while others were still waiting.
At its meeting in Pretoria on Thursday, the CEM said most outcomes in the department's delivery agreement were achieved two years before the targeted date. Under the current administration, improvements in the quality of basic education were made, the CEM said.
The department had received unqualified audit reports for the last three years, and the 70 percent matric pass rate, a goal set for 2014, were among the aims achieved, according to the CEM.
The government's placing five Limpopo departments, including education, under administration, was an acknowledgement of the problems in the province, it said.
"To drag the entire [education] sector [down] to the limitations and gaps of Limpopo is unfair, particularly in view of the fact that the presidential task team is still probing the causes of the problem."
The CEM said most media reports on the textbook problem had created the impression that the national education department was responsible for procuring textbooks. It was the provincial government's task.
"The impression created by the media that all children in Limpopo did not receive books and tuition is misleading.
"Only learners in Grades one to three and 10 were affected."
The CEM urged Motshekga to tackle any problems, particularly in Limpopo, decisively.