The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has processed 128 545 school student applications for the 2016 academic year, with 118 429 of those applicants having successfully been placed in an institution thus far. The announcement comes amid a second call from the department for parents to honour school enrollment deadlines, amid concern many are leaving the applications for the last minute.
Earlier this year WCED MEC, Debbie Schafer urged parents to submit their applications before the 30th June 2015.
All is not lost for those who failed to abide by the request, with parents still able to approach schools to gauge whether there are spots open for their child. If unable to find a school, parents have been advised to approach the nearest district office of the WCED.
“They need to ask them for assistance, and if they still can’t get that assistance then they can approach my office,” said Minister Schafer.
The gap on applications vs. successful placements has been attributed to the fact that the process is still on-going, with many learners accepted at more than once school still mulling over their choice. Schafer said the department would encourage parents and learners in those situations to make a decision as soon as possible, so as not to hold up the placement of other applicants.
“Sometimes they may just be waiting to see which one they ultimately prefer, but I would hope by now they would have an idea of which one their preference is,” she noted.
Addressing a trend of enrollment fees noticed by several parents, Schafer warned that government and public schools were not allowed to request such a payment, unless said money would ultimately come off from the pupil’s annual school fees.
“They should report it to the district office and ask that they investigate and attend to it at the school,” she advised.
The minister further reiterated that parents need make sure their child was enrolled as soon as possible in order to avoid missing out on a placement for the forthcoming year.
“It is already very late, and there is no guarantee you will get your school of choice. It is very difficult for us to plan and make sure everything is in place for the following year if we don’t know who is going to be coming to which school,” she added. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)