File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

More than 8 600 pupils still unplaced in Western Cape

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Feb 25, 2021

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Cape Town – Two weeks into the school year, 8 682 pupils are still unplaced in the province.

While the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has been slammed for an alleged lack of proper planning for the academic year, they said the number of unplaced pupils was down from 9 949 recorded last year.

ANC provincial spokesperson on education Khalid Sayed said the persistent crisis of unplaced learners in the province is one that the Education Department has been struggling with for years.

“The challenge can only be addressed if the department builds new schools, employs additional teachers, forces former Model C schools to increase their average of learners per class, be more hands-on with SGBs (school governing bodies) when it comes to enrolment of admissions, develop a standardised admissions policy that must be monitored closely and not allow schools to run on their own in this regard. Lineage-based admissions at former Model C schools must also be scrapped,” he said.

A parent who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said their family was scrambling to find a school for their child.

“As parents of these children we find ourselves seeking answers as our applications were unsuccessful whereas we applied on time, followed all procedures and even attended open days giving hope to our children and agreeing with most parents that the choice of schools selected by our children were thoroughly researched.”

The SACP said a lack of proper planning for an academic year continued to persist.

“The lack of adequate support for working-class schools remains the challenge that impacts negatively in the outcome of matric examinations. The overcrowding of schools and under-staffing remains a dominant feature of Western Cape schools.”

WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the number of unplaced learners on the 6th school day in 2021 is less than the number of unplaced learners at the same time last year.

Hammond said the Metro East was the most affected district.

“A number of the unplaced learners have been offered placement at schools, but have refused to take up this offer. We cannot thus force them into a school, the parents have to agree.

’’We will continue to engage with schools and communities in order to place learners as soon as possible. Again, we appeal to parents to please apply when the admission process is open, so that we can plan more appropriately,” Hammond said.

Cape Times

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