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Basic Education confident all learners will be accommodated

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The Department of Education says it’s confident that all learners who have not been placed, will be accommodated in Gauteng schools soon.

Schools in the inland provinces re-opened on Wednesday, with some children still not enrolled.

Parents visited district offices hoping to find suitable schools for their children.

The education department has asked parents to give them about a week to place all the affected learners.

However, some parents outside the Johannesburg east district office in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, are still anxious, hoping their children will also be in class soon, meeting their new teachers…

“This is very frustrating, I’m supposed to go back to work next week and I don’t know how to leave this child at home with no school. They don’t have dates.”

“I’m very frustrated because my child doesn’t have space.”

Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane, says they are moving swiftly to place outstanding learners at schools across the province.

Chiloane explained the process with the grade one and eight applicants.

“Grade 1 and 8 we are sitting at 292 that were complete applications and 40 000 or so incomplete applications because parents did not provide the necessary documentation. So, out of the complete applications, we are closing them off. I’m sure now we are left with 400,” adds Chiloane.

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, says parents’ preference for certain schools over others, has led to some learners not being placed.

“It is an issue of parental choice for different reasons. Sometimes parents want their children to go to schools near where they work. So that they can drop them [off on their way to and] and they [can] pick them up. And unfortunately, as a sector we’re not able to really be able to provide for parental choices.”

“The majority of the bulk of our schools are in townships where the majority of people are, and that sometimes presents a problem. There are a number of schools and if you go to those schools, they give you 100%,” adds Minister Motshekga.

The Minister says the late placement issue is not unique to Gauteng and therefore the online system should not be blamed.

“No it is not a Gauteng issue. Yesterday [Wednesday] when we did our statistics, there were 5000 unplaced and in Mpumalanga and other provinces that don’t use the Gauteng system. So it’s not a system. It’s parental choice, We don’t have adequate spaces, but also it’s late applications and the challenges that young parents have, they’re changing jobs or changing their accommodations.”

“But also as I say, applying late, not enough information, but the truth also, that we don’t have enough spaces for all the people. I expect the same problem in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. They are still going to have problems of young parents moving around, urbanization is also a big issue. People moving from rural areas coming to urban areas,” explains Motshekga.

She says the remaining learners will be placed in a few days.

Source: SABC News

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