Parents fuming as thousands of Cape children still not placed at schools
Cape Town - Parents in the Western Cape have slammed the provincial Education Department’s online registration system, which has left thousands of children not placed in schools.
Some said they were turned back from schools and told their children were not allocated space and told to go to their district offices to seek solutions.
Nolindile Monakali, whose daughter has still not been placed, blamed the Western Cape Education Department’s online system, and said her daughter was declined at all three schools where she applied.
Another parent from Mfuleni, Xoliswa Makha, said they struggled to apply until they went straight to Iqhayiya Secondary School in Khayelitsha, where her grandchild Ntsika Makha was then accepted and would be doing his Grade 8.
Community leader and parent from Mfuleni, Sipho Delana said parents became frustrated when they were informed that their children must stay home and wait for the department to accept them.
He said parents were told only those who had registered online would be helped. However, he claimed that it was only parents and pupils from other provinces who were assisted.
WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the department had asked schools to update their lists of those pupils that had applied and new applications as a result of promotions and progressions.
“We had to send out SMS on Wednesday as we are urgently needing to update lists. We are still waiting for schools to finalise their updates,” Hammond said.
ANC Boland regional secretary Sabelo Mahlathi said dozens of pupils, some of who arrived for what they thought would be their first week of school, gathered with parents in the Klapmuts Primary School hall after being told they would not be admitted to the school.
Mahlathi alleged that only “non-Afrikaans” speaking pupils were not accommodated at the school.
“Klapmuts has traditionally been an Afrikaans speaking area. However, the composition of the community has changed because of social housing and other factors,” Mahlathi said.
Although other languages such as Xhosa and English had joined Afrikaans as the preferred languages of residents, the Western Cape government had acted irresponsibly by not building more primary schools in Klapmuts, he said.
Hammond said there was a group of parents that were insisting that their children were enrolled at Klapmuts Primary.
Hammond said the department was collating the names of the learners who were not enrolled and would liaise with the parents to find a solution, and said there were approximately 37 Grade 1 learners.
“In all cases, schools determine the language policy of the school based on the community it serves. The WCED will investigate the needs and demand,” Hammond said.@SISONKE_MD