’Hundreds of Cape Town learners left without a school to attend’
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Cape Town – Advocacy group Community Advisory Services (CAS) in Kraaifontein has complained about a lack of assistance from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).
CAS founder Linda Phitho said hundreds of their learners had been left without placements in the local high schools.
Phitho said the department was aware of schooling challenges in Bloekombos and Wallacedene, where there are seven primary schools and four high schools.
He said that posed a problem every year, because there have been more primary graduates going into high schools than the high schools could place.
“This also results in crowded classrooms, and an increase in school vandalism, corruption, and a high number of drop-outs at a high school level,” he said.
ANC education spokesperson Khalid Sayed said in Kraaifontein they had been working with parents, school governing bodies and principals to identify suitable pockets of land where a temporary school could be built to absorb the placement pressures in the area, but their plan was refused by the WCED.
Sayed said in Mfuleni and Forest Village, the parents took the WCED to court to push the WCED to find places for their children in schools.
“My office has received so many complaints from parents who had correctly and timeously applied at schools but had been rejected – and now the children do not have places at schools for next year,” said Sayed.
WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the WCED has communicated widely that parents of learners who have not received a place at schools could contact the district offices for placement.
Hammond said that was done via SMS or email – depending on which option the parent chose.
“The WCED is currently finalising its management plan to address learner placement for 2022. This data will inform us where the hot spots lie, where there is a need for additional classrooms and teachers and where there may be gaps in which to fill,” said Hammond.