Schools ready for 'migrants'

13 January 2015 - 02:36 By Poppy Louw
Classroom. File photo
Classroom. File photo

The Western Cape education department is preparing for another influx of pupils from other provinces.

More than 26000 pupils were enrolled for the first time at schools in the province last year.

About 20000 of them were from Eastern Cape, and about 1500 from Gauteng.

Provincial education spokesman Jessica Shelver told The Times yesterday that the department expected a surge in new pupils from the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape when schools re-open on January 21.

"This is a result of their families travelling to Western Cape in search of employment and better access to education," Shelver said.

The department introduced its School Admission Management Information online system last year to ease the task of tracking applications and places at schools in the province.

Shelver said the system showed there is "more than enough space" for those looking for places.

More than 122000 migrant pupils were enrolled at Western Cape schools between 2010 and last year, and just over 80% (105850) were from the Eastern Cape. Most of the Eastern Cape migrant pupils enter the system in grades R, 1 and 10.

Former Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant said last year that the influx of 105850 Eastern Cape pupils over the past five years had cost the province R1.2-billion

On average, every pupil in Western Cape costs the public purse R12000 each year.

Premier Helle Zille was lambasted in 2012 for referring to pupils who moved from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape in search of a better education as "education refugees".