The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has dismissed suggestions that there was an “application crisis” in the province, after a frustrated parent complained about numerous rejections.
From July 19 until the end of August, schools will review admission lists, contact parents who applied and those who need placement.
The WCED admission team was expected to resolve outstanding cases from September until December 15. One of the worried parents, Ronnie Banjwa, said their concern was a lack of effective communication from the WCED after a child was rejected, and an “attitude against children who live in townships”.
“My child recently got placed after being rejected at many schools. Now it’s my niece, and we don’t know where she will go to school next year.
“She’s currently in Grade 7 at a school in Claremont. The application process is stressful especially if parents followed all guidelines.
“The response is that schools are oversubscribed and that’s it.
“They leave us with no hope, no efforts to explain the process to parents. This happens every year.
“I was never aware of this September process. We only know it now through the media. Some schools even have the audacity to question why our children don’t study in the townships. Quality education is a right every child deserves,” said Banjwa.
ANC Education spokesperson Khalid Sayed held a media briefing on Monday, where he said the department’s timeline should be reviewed.
“It is imperative that the authorities work tirelessly to find solutions that will ensure all learners are placed in schools.
“The ANC calls on MEC David Maynier and his department to take all reasonable measures to ensure that all learners are placed in schools, including but not limited to creation of additional teaching posts in the province.
Furthermore, we call on the DA-led Western Cape Government to develop a comprehensive and sustainable longterm plan to address this persistent unplaced learner crisis in the province.
“This plan should focus on addressing the population growth patterns, teacher capacity and shortage of schools in the province; in areas like Mitchells Plain where the number of primary schools is double the number of high schools,” said Sayed.
He also called for transparency about the number of unplaced learners.
Responding to Sayed, Maynier said the claims were “bizarre” because the system did not decide on application outcomes schools did, and they were currently making their offers.
“The initial placement period only ends later this year, at which point we will assist all learners who have not yet been offered a place at any school,” said Maynier.