Hundreds of NC pupils still to be placed
WITH 450 pupils in the Northern Cape still waiting to hear if they have a place at school next year, the provincial Department of Education has urged parents to be patient until the end of the month.
A number of parents have expressed concern that their children have still not been allocated places at school next year.
A mother of a pupil who is supposed to start high school next year described the waiting process as frustrating.
“It is almost the end of the year and schools are going to close soon, but my child still does not have a school to attend after her application to two high schools in Kimberley were rejected,” the mother said.
“My daughter is starting Grade 8 next year but we still have no clue which school she will attend. I applied at Northern Cape High School and Girls’ High School but both high schools rejected her application. I then approached the department and applied for alternative placement after the reasons for the rejection stated that my child did not meet the specified criteria stipulated on the form.
“Among the requirements were that the applicant had to have a sibling attending the school, stay close to the school or have a parent who is employed at the school. I explained that the two schools were the closest to my home and that my other child is already studying at university.
“This is so frustrating to be in dark about where my child we go next year.”
Another parent said that she was also unsure about the outcome of her appeal.
“My child is supposed to start Grade R next year and I still do not know which school she will attend after I appealed the outcome of the applications. I applied at four primary schools and all of them rejected me. I only have one child and we stay in the CBD.
“I applied at all the schools closest to me yet they all rejected my application. I do not understand what radius the department uses to calculate the distance of a pupil’s home to the school.
“What is worrisome is that some parents have already made the necessary preparations for next year and have purchased the child’s school uniform already, yet some of us still don’t know whether our appeals were successful,” she said.
Spokesperson for the Department of Education, Geoffrey van der Merwe, said yesterday they are in the process of finalising the appeal process.
“We can confirm that we have received 163 appeals for the 2018 pupil admissions . . . 287 are applications for alternative placement which were submitted at the District Office. Currently, everything is on track in terms of our management plan to place these pupils before the end of November.
“The appeals that were lodged were mostly for Grade R and Grade 8. We will communicate in writing to parents who have submitted appeals to inform them about the outcome of their appeal.
“We can assure all parents that every pupil will be placed at a school. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a school of preference,” said Van der Merwe.