Western Cape education MEC said on Monday she was concerned that over 85,000 school applications for the 2020 academic year that have not been confirmed. File Image

Cape Town - The education MEC in the Western Cape said on Monday she was concerned that over 85,000 applications for school places in the 2020 academic year had not been confirmed.

"I am concerned that there are still over 85,000 applications where parents have not confirmed their place for 2020. This means the application was successful but the parent has not indicated their final choice on the system," Debbie Schäfer in a statement.

More than a million learners in the Western Cape will be returning to school after the winter holidays on Tuesday.

"The third term of the academic year is one of the most important terms for our learners, educators and officials as it is one when important examinations and tests take place," Schäfer said.   

"It is also a time where our officials take on the mammoth task of ensuring that the department is prepared for the start of the 2020 academic year by finalising and processing last minute admissions."

She said parents had until Thursday to confirm placement at their school of choice and if they did not her department would allocate the first place where their application was successful.

"Parents must preferably confirm on the system directly, which is much quicker to do and allows the parent to see the outcome immediately," she said.

"If parents are unable to confirm on the system directly, they can e-mail, call our district offices or our head office for assistance."

Schäfer urged parents who had not received a positive response to remain calm while the department processed the second phase of the admissions process.  

"The whole purpose of this phase of admission is to get as many confirmations completed as soon as possible, so that places open up at schools where children are double or triple “parked” in terms of successful applications. By confirming applications now, it will allow us to determine where spaces have opened at schools, so that learners on waiting lists can be accommodated."

The minister said with 107 days to go until the start of matric exams, this was an important term for grade 12 national school certificate candidates as this would be the final full term of teaching. 

"The department is supporting schools and matrics in various ways as they prepare for their exams. These have included winter schools during the holidays. The main focus of all schools will be to complete the curriculum for the term."

African News Agency (ANA)