WCED places additional 880 learners for Grade 1 or 8 within three weeks; 688 still needs to be placed

Six hundred and eighty-eight prospective Grade 1 and 8 learners still needs to be placed in a school in the Western Cape.

This was revealed by the Western Cape’s Education Department (WCED), who said that as of 11 December 2023, 120 778, or 99.43%, of the learners for whom applications were received for Grade 1 and 8 for the 2024 school year, has been placed, adding that 688, or 0.56%, Grade 1 and 8 learners still needs to be placed. Three weeks ago, the department said that 1 568 needed to be placed.

PICTURE: Pixabay

MEC David Maynier said late applications continue to arrive, with 176 received in just the past three weeks.

‘’We understand that this is a stressful and anxious period for these parents. As a department, we are asking parents to work with us as we try to accommodate their children as soon as possible. We are exploring all available options to find a place for these learners for the start of the school year.’’

Maynier said the budget cuts of R716.4 million has seen a huge blow to the provincial education sector.

‘’We will still build 9 new schools to accommodate the learners applying for the 2024 school year, as well as 496 classrooms in areas of high demand for placement. In total, our revised plan aims to deliver 608 additional classrooms across the province, which is still more than double the average number built annually before 2022/2023, despite the infrastructure budget cut,’’ said David Maynier, Western Cape Education MEC.

‘’Our officials and schools are working hard 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 whose parents have already applied,’’ he added.

Maynier says he foresees that thousands of learners will arrive at the start of the 2024 school year, seeking placement.

‘’We have put a great deal of effort into encouraging parents to apply on time during the admissions applications window, between 13 March 2023 and 14 April 2023. We provided pop-up sites across the province for parents to be assisted if they could not apply online. And our district offices have been accepting walk in applications since the online applications closed. Despite this, we know that many thousands of learners will arrive in the first term next year needing placement. We do not know where they will seek placement, or what their grades, languages, ages, or subject choices will be. This makes planning our resource allocation for these extremely late applicants in advance very difficult, and their parents will have to wait some time before their child is placed,’’ David Maynier, Western Cape Education MEC.


Done By: Mitchum George


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