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'Good schools' in Gauteng reached capacity on first day of placement

05 November 2019 - 11:50 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Queues at a Gauteng education department district office. A petition to scrap the online applications system has been launched.
Queues at a Gauteng education department district office. A petition to scrap the online applications system has been launched.
Image: ChefKat-Molefe/Twitter

As thousands of parents grapple with uncertainty over school placements of Grade 1 and 8 pupils, the department of education has released the names of the 20 schools which reached full capacity on the first day of placements.

Northcliff High School in Johannesburg received the highest number of applications at 1,485, but can only accommodate 280 pupils.

It was followed by Alberton High School, also in Johannesburg, with 1,460 applications and capacity for 202 pupils.

Boksburg High School also made it on to the list with 1,332 applications, with capacity for 270 pupils.

On Monday, the department announced that 34,553 pupils remained unplaced at their schools of choice, with 21 000 of them Grade 8 pupils.

Hundreds of parents have been visiting district offices in a bid to secure placement for their children. About blamed system failures after being told there were no places at their schools of choice.

However, MEC for education in the province Panyaza Lesufi ruled out the possibility of system failures.

“I think for the first time since we started with the online applications, we have not had any system issues or failures this year. The problem is not the system, but preference,” he said on Monday.   

He assured parents that they would not be turned away at district offices and that alternative schools would be allocated to them should their schools of choice be full.

With the placement period extended to November 31, Lesufi said no pupil who had applied on time would be without a school by December.

Other schools which reached capacity on the first day of placements were Hoërskool Akasia High, Rand Park High, Hoërskool President, Mondeor High, Sir John Adamson, Pretoria High School For Girls, Hoërskool Gerrit Maritz, Benoni High, Edenvale High, Greenside High, Bryanston High, Laerskool Akasia, Hoërskool Langenhoven Sutherland High, Parktown Girls' High, Pretoria Boys' High and Hoërskool Marais Viljoen.

Lesufi said 391 schools had reached capacity.

He expressed joy at his department's effort to invest in township schools, after Unity High School in Daveyton and Bhukulani High in Soweto received more than 1,000 applications, against capacity of 150 and 210, respectively.  

“This demonstrates that the investment by GDE in township schools is paying off,” he said.