Bigger classes on the cards as Gauteng has to find places for 14,000 pupils
As thousands of grade 1 and grade 8 pupils remained unplaced in Gauteng schools for next year, the department of education said it was working with "high pressure zone" schools to increase their classroom capacity to accommodate more pupils.
Spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department was also looking at the possibility of placing mobile classrooms in overpopulated areas.
“It is important to note that the department has identified some schools in affected areas which will be helped with the provision of mobile classrooms. We will also partner with independent schools to accommodate excess learners from our public schools accordingly, in consultation with respective parents,” said Mabona on Monday.
The department said it had placed 267,611 pupils, which accounted for 63% of the applications.
“The remaining 14,617 are still to receive placement offers and must be placed by the November 30 2019 deadline,” he said.
With just 10 days to finalise the placements, the department said it was initiating the process of merging single medium schools with low pupil enrollments to open English medium schools in high pressure zones.
“In addition, the department will introduce English and Afrikaans as the languages of teaching and learning (LoTL) in the under-subscribed township schools. The said schools will be helped to acquire the necessary educators who have qualifications and proficiency to teach in the required language,” said Mabona.
A total of 310,350 applications were received by the department since May 20. Of these, 27,563 applicants had not submitted the required documents.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said no pupil would be without a school despite the looming deadline. He urged parents to accept placement offers.
“We are undoubtedly working diligently, ensuring that schools increase their classroom capacity to accommodate additional unplaced learners by November 30.
"Parents are therefore urged to accept offers, or immediately object if not suitable so those rejected offers can be given to other applicants. Nevertheless, our main objective is ensuring that no learner is without a school,” said Lesufi.
Parents who were dissatisfied with the outcome of their applications were urged to complete the appeal forms available at district offices.