Saturday, February 17, 2024

Hundreds of learners still unplaced at Western Cape schools

Five hundred and twenty-nine Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners still needs to be placed in a school in the Western Cape.

The Western Cape’s Education Department (WCED) said as of Thursday, it placed 124 808 or 99.6%, of the unique Grade 1 and Grade 8 placement applications for the 2024 school year.

‘’It is important to note that the majority of the cases where placement is still in progress are extremely late applicants,’’ said David Maynier, Education MEC.

The department divided applications into three groups, namely: Applications received on time before the deadline; Late applications received after the deadline but before the end of 2023; and Extremely late applications received since the start of this year.

Maynier says 25 Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners still needs to be placed, for whom applications were received on time.

‘’These learners are being prioritised at present, but we are facing a challenge with their parents being uncontactable. We appeal to parents to alert us of any changes to their contact details, so that we can contact them with offers of placement as soon as spaces become available.’’

PICTURE: Pixabay

He added that placement is in progress for 133 of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for whom applications were received after the deadline for applications passed, but before the end of 2023 (applied after 14 April 2023 but before 31 December 2023)

‘’We also face problems with contacting these parents, and again urge parents to ensure that the district office has their updated details,’’ said Maynier.

The Education MEC said 3 579 applications were received since the beginning of the year.

‘’Over the past few weeks, our department has been inundated with brand new, extremely late applications. We have already placed 3 208 of these applicants, and placement is in progress for 371 of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for whom applications were received extremely late,’’ said David Maynier, Western Cape Education MEC.

‘’These applications pose a great challenge, as they are arriving daily in an unpredictable pattern, so we are constantly chasing a moving target. We ask for patience as we make progress in placing these extremely late applicants. They have arrived without warning, and we cannot predict where and when these late applicants will arrive. This has made planning our resource allocation in advance extremely difficult.’’

‘’It will take some time to redirect resources to cater for these learners, and this is currently underway. We have also printed resource packs for late applicants and provided these to the district offices,’’ added Maynier.

Maynier asked for patience in this regard.

‘’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 find places for learners as quickly as possible.’’


Done by: Mitchum George

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