Legal Resources Centre looking for a plan to place Cape learners
Cape Town - The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) said it was in a process to request the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to provide a detailed plan on measures to reduce high numbers of unplaced learners in the province, and to make sure that the placement of those learners does not result in overcrowding.
LRC spokesperson Thabo Ramphobole said they were gravely concerned about the increasingly high number of unplaced learners in schools in the province.
Ramphobole said the WCED has recently stated that they were working hard to place the remaining learners in schools, however they said they were concerned about the fact that those learners have missed a term, and counting of learning.
"We therefore call on the WCED to put in place measures to ensure that these learners are placed in schools as a matter of urgency, and are given the opportunity to catch up with the work they have missed out on," said Ramphobole.
He said for learners not yet placed, they call on the WCED to offer alternative solutions to those learners until they were placed.
He called on the WCED to stop “blaming migration from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape for the increase in unplaced learners”.
"The reasons why these learners apply for school admission in the province are irrelevant to the constitutional mandate of the WCED to provide access to education for all persons within its jurisdiction," he said.
ANC provincial spokesperson on education Khalid Sayed said the province faces a serious challenge of insufficient school places which resulted in thousands of learners not placed in schools every year.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said she has noted the statement by LRC as well as the fact that they have decided to release that statement before engaging with the department.
Schäfer said had they engaged with them first, they could have responded with the correct facts about the situation.
She said the number of unplaced learners was in fact currently 2 799 as of Monday - the figure (3 786) used by the LRC was out of date.
“We have found places for the Forest Village learners, but are being hampered by incomplete information being received.
“We are engaging with the group to try and get access to the required information to identify and place the remaining learners,” she said.