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LISTEN | Gauteng’s 700 unplaced pupils will be sorted by month-end: Panyaza Lesufi

12 January 2022 - 12:34 By Nomahlubi Sonjica
Grade 1 pupils line up before being led into class for the first time at Setlabotjha Primary in Sebokeng on January 12 2022.
Grade 1 pupils line up before being led into class for the first time at Setlabotjha Primary in Sebokeng on January 12 2022.
Image: Alaister Russell/Sunday Times

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says there are about 700 pupils who have not yet been placed in public schools across the province, a big improvement on last year.

“Last year almost 35,000 pupils were not placed. This year there are fewer than 700 who need to be placed,” Lesufi said on Wednesday when inland pupils returned to school.


He said the department managed to place the 35,000 pupils by the end of March last year.

Lesufi assured parents the 700 pupils would be placed by the end of January.

“The team are working to conclude the task. It is not because of a lack of planning or schools that pupils were not placed. We had hundreds of pupils who prefer to come to Gauteng to learn,” Lesufi said.

He said the province had received 32,000 new pupils from other provinces.

“We are proud most parents prefer Gauteng and public education.”

Lesufi said there were certain schools that parents preferred and as a result the system was clogged because of their preferences.

“We are building beautiful schools in townships but there is this mentality that township schools are bad. The reality is there is no teacher who is trained differently. I am proud of the quality of schools we have.”

He said the department was facing a challenge of parents not believing their children could get quality education from township schools.

“It’s a huge struggle to change the mentality of people who want to apply for a certain school in town because they like the uniform of that school.

“This year we are concluding placements before the end of January. We will continue to build beautiful schools. We will continue to eradicate mobile and asbestos schools. We will continue to build schools of the future” said the MEC.

Covid-19 vaccinations

Lesufi said 95% of teachers in Gauteng were fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“We believe we can reach 98%. We support the call made by the education minister [Angie Motshekga] that we must work with speed to ensure our children come to school every day.

“We must be responsible in supporting that call. We must monitor the situation. We are three years behind with the curriculum since Covid-19. The sooner all children come to school, the better.”



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