Close to 500 learners still need to be placed at Western Cape schools

Four hundred and eighty-seven children are awaiting to be placed at a school in the Western Cape.

According to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) they have resolved 121 806, or 99.6%, of the unique Grade 1 and Grade 8 placement applications for the current school year.

MEC David Maynier said placement is in progress for just 19 Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for whom applications were received on time.

Maynier raised concerns that the parents of these learners are either uncontactable or have rejected the offer of placement.

Meanwhile, placement is in progress for 42 of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for whom applications were received after the deadline for applications passed, but before the end of 2022.

The majority of these were received in November and December 2022.

Worryingly, the WCED received new, extremely late applications for 4 045 Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners since the start of this year for the 2023 school year, including 926 in the past month.

However, of these, only 426 still needs to be placed.

MEC Maynier said 180 were received since 1 February 2023, and additional applications are arriving daily.

‘’At any given time of the year, we will always have a number of learners whose placement is in progress, because learners do move around the province and country throughout the year. We ask for patience as we make progress in placing these extremely late applicants.’’

‘’Our officials and schools have done a phenomenal job under extreme pressure to make sure that they find a place for every child. We are leaving no stone unturned in our effort to place every learner, and we will continue to work to finalise placement for all remaining learners.’’

‘’We understand that the placement process can cause frustration for parents, and we ask for their patience and assure them that we are doing everything we can to ensure their children’s placement is finalised as soon as possible, concluded David Maynier, Western Cape’s Education MEC.

The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape has expressed concern about the number of learners who remain unplaced in the province. The ANC says many parents are telling them that they applied on time last year for their learner.

ANC Member of the Provincial Legislature, Muhammad Sayed, says the situation is unacceptable.

‘’It is absolutely disgusting and the MEC does not view this matter as a crisis. Also, where they do place learners, they place a burden on our schools in poor and working communities we got to have seventy learners in a class for instance.

‘’Our call remains the same – former model C schools must not be these privileged islands, where they are allowed to have less than 30 [learners] per class. Class average must be 35. No school must be allowed less than 35 (learners) per classroom’’


Done By: Mitchum George


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