Schools, classrooms added as grade 8 numbers leap by 8% in Western Cape

15 January 2020 - 11:03 By TimesLIVE
Grade 1 pupil Bukho Gadeni, aged six, starts his school career with a prayer at St Mary's Primary in Gardens, Cape Town, on January 15 2020.
Grade 1 pupil Bukho Gadeni, aged six, starts his school career with a prayer at St Mary's Primary in Gardens, Cape Town, on January 15 2020.
Image: Esa Alexander

Grade 8 numbers increased by 8.4% on day one of the new school year in the Western Cape.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said her department was “pulling out all the stops" to find space for new pupils.

About 107,000 children arrived in grade 1 classrooms across the Western Cape, up 2.5% on 2019.

Teacher Leticia Davis comforts 6-year-old Luvuya Rayi on his first day at St Mary’s Primary School in Gardens, Cape Town, on January 15 2020.
Teacher Leticia Davis comforts 6-year-old Luvuya Rayi on his first day at St Mary’s Primary School in Gardens, Cape Town, on January 15 2020.
Image: Esa Alexander

Schäfer was at St Mary’s Primary in Gardens, Cape Town, to welcome pupils and said parents who were struggling to enrol their children for the new year should approach the district office in their area.

“Special walk-in centres have been set up to help parents at district offices, and each office has identified specific officials who will assist parents who struggle to find a place when schools reopen. A list of officials is available here.

Mothers Nothemba Jibilikile-Magadana, Nomfanelo Cetyiwe and Tabitha Cetyiwe take pictures of their daughters on their first day at St Mary’s Primary in Gardens, Cape Town, on January 15 2020.
Mothers Nothemba Jibilikile-Magadana, Nomfanelo Cetyiwe and Tabitha Cetyiwe take pictures of their daughters on their first day at St Mary’s Primary in Gardens, Cape Town, on January 15 2020.
Image: Esa Alexander

The Western Cape education department opened two new schools in Cape Town on Wednesday: Delft High and Disa Road Primary.

“Learners from Crestway High and Philippi High will also be moving into two new school buildings as part of our replacement programme,” said Schäfer. Forty new bricks-and-mortar classrooms had been built at eight schools, and 18 prefabricated classrooms had been placed at six schools.

“Eleven unutilised classrooms were refurbished and 103 mobile classrooms were built at 16 identified schools,” said Schäfer. “Three schools received an additional seven classrooms to accommodate more grade R learners.”


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