CAPE TOWN - Kraaifontein community leaders are hoping that schools in the area will be among those that receive extra classrooms this year as many pupils are still waiting to be placed.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond on Monday said she was still waiting on updated figures of both place and unplaced pupils.
However, as of last week there were 451 Grade 1 and 2 450 Grade 8 children that still had to be placed for the 2022 academic year.
Schools in coastal provinces reopened on Wednesday.
Member of the Kraaifontein Development Forum Siphiwo Saki said he was lucky that his child got a space at Bloekombos High School on Friday.
“My child is among those who applied early last year but it seems like because the Grade 8 class gets a lot of applications the placement of children is slow. Parents are anxious because in all four schools in the area, space is a challenge. Some schools are getting full and are already full.
“Even today some were going to schools with their children to try their luck, ” he said.
Community leader and Bloekombos High School School Governing Body (SGB) member Linda Phito says the school already has 1,900 pupils.
“This area and many others like Mfuleni are known to always have space constraints. Our schools are already overcrowded but we still have many walk-ins and late applications which can’t be turned back because every child has a right to education.
“Last year we were promised that there will be about ten extra classrooms and we are watching and waiting to see when they will be delivered,” he said.
The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) said: “We are sick and tired of searching for schools for unplaced learners, whereas there are schools who are not even close to the teacher-to-learner ratio per class, we are saying that education shall be equal and not be sold to anyone.”
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the department was creating more than 18,000 extra places for pupils through extra classrooms, refurbishing existing classrooms, and constructing schools.
The departments is also anticipating that two new mobile schools will be completed by the end of the first term.
Four additional schools are under construction and will be completed during the course of this year.
Meanwhile, the fourth International Day of Education was marked yesterday under the theme “Changing Course, Transforming Education”.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, there were about 258 million children and youth who did not attend school across the world.