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The failure of parents to answer their phones has been cited as among the reasons why some pupils in the Northern Cape have yet to be placed in a school.

This is according to the spokesperson for the provincial Department of Education, Geoffrey van der Merwe, who said on Sunday that while tremendous headway had been made over the weekend, the first full school week of the 2018 academic year would commence with many children yet to find a place at a school.

“Our officials from the department worked around the clock this weekend to place the outstanding pupils still seeking placement,” van der Merwe explained on Sunday afternoon.

“We’ve been able to make significant progress in this regard, however, it was hampered due to the fact that we could not get hold of many parents.”

According to van der Merwe, the progress made in outstanding pupil admissions for those who applied in 2017, saw 95 of the 151 pupils applying for Grade 1 placed at a school, while 51 parents either rejected the school identified by the department or could not be reached by telephone.

Seven of the 13 pupils still looking to start Grade 5 in 2018 could be accommodated, while all 15 Grade 7 pupils have been placed.

A total of 63 of the 137 applications for Grade 8 could also be accommodated, 10 could not be placed, while 56 either rejected the school or couldn’t be reached by telephone.

“We appeal to all parents to provide us with the necessary co-operation to finalise the placement of their children. This week we will be attending to late pupil admission applications which we received in 2018,” added van der Merwe.