Pupils at Ikhusi Primary School in Khayelitsha line up for their first day. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)
Pupils at Ikhusi Primary School in Khayelitsha line up for their first day. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / African News Agency (ANA)

Desperate parents across Western Cape scrambling to get kids placed in a school

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Jan 16, 2020

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Cape Town – Desperate parents across the province were left scrambling yesterday to get their children placed in a school.

The race stretched from Mfuleni, near Blue Downs, all the way to Paarl.

Zanele Adams, who recently moved from Westbank to Mfuleni, was among the many parents still trying to enrol their children at the newly-opened Fairdale High School in Silversands.

“I am a bit frustrated because this is my second time at this school. On Monday I was here and they told me to come back. 

"I cannot afford transport, so he has to change schools. I am hoping he is accepted here to do his Grade 10 because this is the nearest high school to us,” said Adams.

The mobile school near Blue Downs was erected last year to accommodate around 400 pupils from Mfuleni and Blue Downs, after thousands of them were left without a school in 2019.

According to the school, about 150 unplaced pupils were looking to be accepted, but for now the only thing they could do was to write their names on a waiting list.

Provincial Education spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the school was full.

Grade 1s at Goodwood Park Primary School give their teacher the thumbs-up on their first day at school. Picture: Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)

In Paarl, teaching at Klapmuts Primary School was nearly disrupted yesterday when a group of disgruntled parents insisted that their children be enrolled at the school.

The parents said the school was the closest to them and having to take a train to other schools would be too dangerous for their children.

Hammond said: “Klapmuts Primary is extremely popular and already carries a large number of pupils. Some of the parents have recently relocated, while others are refusing to use the offer of transport and placement at another school.”

She said the department was collating the names of pupils who are not enrolled, and will liaise with the parents to find a solution.

More than one million pupils started the school year yesterday, of which about 107 000 were Grade 1s.

The provincial Education Department said there had been a number of expansion projects to cater for population growth, including the building of additional classrooms at schools. 

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said eight schools received 40 new brick and mortar classrooms; six schools received 18 Moladi classrooms; 11 unutilised classrooms were refurbished; and 103 mobile classrooms were built at 16 schools.

Hammond advised parents of pupils without schools to visit the district office. “When the school is full, it is full. The district instructed all principals not to oversubscribe their pupil intake. 

"We have asked schools to assist us where they can, but not to be unrealistic.”

For more information parents can visit https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/admissions-201920

Cape Times

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