Gauteng still needs to place 13000 learners in schools

25 January 2017 - 13:01
By Neo Goba
Image: iStock

Progress has been made to decrease the backlog of unplaced pupils at schools in Gauteng‚ the provincial education department has said.

Spokesperson Oupa Bodibe told TMG Digital that the number of unplaced learners whose parents had applied via the online registration system has been drastically reduced to about 4400 from an initial backlog of 58000.

Bodibe said of the more than 12000 late applications received‚ they have managed to place 3000 to date.

“For those who applied online‚ we really want to finish placing their children earlier than the estimated time because it would be unfair to those parents because they did use the system‚ even though some of them used it late‚” said Bodibe.

“But those who walked into our offices‚ we are [expecting to place them] between the end of February and beginning on March is our deadline.”

  • READ MORE: 19 000 Gauteng kids still to be placed in schoolsThere are still 19 000 children who have not found spaces in schools across Gauteng‚ education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Thursday.

A total of 12 821 new applications were received by the department through walk-ins at the admission centres. Of these‚ 7820 were for Grade 1 and 5001 were for Grade 8.

As on Wednesday‚ the total number of unplaced learners - online and walk-in applications combined - is 13000.

“We reiterate our deep sense of empathy with the parents whose children are still not placed and commit to accelerate placement to at least eliminate the backlog of online applications. Unfortunately‚ for parents that have just walked into our operations centres‚ this may take a while‚” the department said in a statement.

According to the department‚ the reason for the delay in placement is the overwhelming demand for spaces where schools are completely full.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said this made it hard to accommodate the child in the first school of choice of a parent. He appealed to parents to accept the offers given by districts.

Some schools in Pretoria attempted to resist the new system in order to maintain past practices‚ and some ran a parallel admission process.

  • READ MORE: Gauteng to open three new schools‚ expand others to accommodate unplaced pupilsThe Gauteng education department says it has a solution to its pupil placement problem – it will open three new schools and expand others in 2017. 

In the Western Cape‚ the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) received a complaint from a member of the Mfuleni community about learners who had not been accommodated in schools.

The complaint indicated that more than 2000 learners were not being placed in the area.

But‚ after a site inspection in the area by SAHRC commissioners Andre Gaum and Chris Nissen‚ it was found that the number has been reduced to 773.

The total number of learners that haven't been placed in the Western Cape is down to 7900 from 18000 learners.

Efforts to get hold of the provincial education MEC’s spokesperson‚ Jessica Shelver‚ drew a blank.

– TMG Digital