WCED ready for 2023 school year
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has assured parents/guardians that they are ready for the 2023 school year, as over 1.2 million learners will return to classrooms on Wednesday.
As of 14 January 2023, 117 844, or 99.2%, of the Grade 1 and Grade 8’s have been placed for the 2023 academic year. This means that the remaining 955 are waiting anxiously to be placed.
‘’This is an incredible achievement compared to recent years, with our officials and schools having placed 50 844 more Grade 1 and 8 learners than on this date last year. We are in the best possible position to kick off the school year given the high demand for placement,’’ said David Maynier, Western Cape Education MEC.
‘’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,’’ he added.
35 872 teachers and 7 578 public service staff returned to schools on Monday, to prepare for the arrival of learners on Wednesday.
According to Maynier, all top up textbooks ordered by schools were delivered by October 2022, at a cost of R62 million. In addition, stationery supplies to the value of R39 million, furniture to the value of R50 million, and other equipment to the value of R1.6 million were also delivered by December 2022.
The MEC said that as much as there’s progress, he expressed concern over the education system being under severe admission pressure.
‘’Over the past 7 years, on average, 21 000 learners from outside the Western Cape have been registered in our province for the first time each year. Schools are full, and we are going to struggle to place additional learners for whom extremely late applications are received,’’ said Maynier.
The WCED has received 25 212 late applications for Grade 1 and 8 (after 15 April 2022) this year, including 272 extremely late applications received after schools closed on 15 December 2022.
‘’We expect to receive many more once schools reopen. It is very difficult to place learners at this extremely late stage, and parents arriving now must be prepared for a delay in the placement of their children,’’ said Maynier.
‘’It is for this reason that we continue to urge parents to apply on time for their children. We need to know who will need place and where, so that we can make plans in advance to accommodate them,’’ he added.
Maynier urged parents who have not yet applied for a place for their child, to contact their Education District Office, immediately.
‘’They must not queue up outside schools with the expectation of being accepted to their school of choice. Our schools are full, and while they may be able to assist with completing applications, the district office will assist with placement centrally,’’ he concluded.
Done by: Mitchum George