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Western Cape still needs to place more than 1400 pupils in schools

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Western Cape still needs to place more than 1400 pupils in schools
  • The Western Cape is still waiting to place 1476 students in Grades 1 and 8.
  • During the first half of this year, the majority of applications were received.
  • Since 1 January this year, 3391 late applications have been received by the department. 

More than 1400 children still need to be enrolled in schools, three weeks after school started.

In the 2023 school year, 98.8% of the unique Grade 1 and Grade 8 placement applications have been resolved as of Monday, 6 February.

The department had yet to place 1476 Grade 1 and Grade 8 students. Western Cape

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The number of learners who applied on time last year is 22. In this case, the department reports that either the parents are unreachable or they have rejected the placement offer.

A total of 129 pupils remained to be placed out of the late applications received before last year’s end.

1 325 pupils still need to be placed out of the 3 391 applications received since January.

“Many of the placements are still pending because they are new applicants who have arrived in the last year,” Education MEC David Maynier noted.

Western Cape still needs to place

“The department faces a great challenge due to the unpredictable pattern in which these applications arrive each day, so we’re constantly chasing a moving target.”

Due to the late applications, he noted, “planning the allocation of our resources in advance has been extremely difficult”.

Maynier said:

Currently, resources are being redirected to accommodate these learners. The district offices where the new applicants arrive have also been provided with resource packs for late applicants. Parents have been provided with online resources to assist them with reading and home learning while the placement is being finalized. Western Cape

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However, Muhammad Khalid Sayed, an ANC spokesperson, stated that only a small percentage of pupils were excluded from classrooms, and students in other grades waited as well.

“I believe that thousands of learners remain unplaced in Western Cape schools,” he said.

During the Standing Committee on Education’s meeting in November, Sayed claimed that more than 25 000 children still hadn’t been enrolled in school.

According to the department, 12 786 applications were still being processed in November last year.

It was announced at the time that 26 000 extra places were planned for pupils.

Sayed added: 

The circumstances of their lives force learners to transfer schools; they do not wake up one morning and ask to transfer. Financial circumstances or a move may have caused them to be unable to afford fees at their previous schools. In the same way that Grades 1 and 8 are given attention, these learners deserve attention as well.

Described as a “self-orchestrated crisis”, Sayed referred to the admissions process as a “crisis”.

“Neither overcrowding nor poor planning are the result of Premier Winde’s government, nor is it a result of maladministration or mismanagement. School governing bodies continue to abuse their powers to discriminate and to exclude certain learners from their schools by means of admissions and language policies, and the WCED has turned a blind eye to this abuse. Western Cape

In some schools, Sayed claimed that up to 70 students were crammed into a classroom.

As a result of the department’s efforts, 662 classrooms have been built and another 842 are being built.

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According to Maynier, 70 mobile classrooms will also be deployed in areas where placement is most needed.

Western Cape

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