School readiness has improved significantly – department
THE Department of Basic Education (DBE) said school readiness had improved significantly in the system over the past five to 10 years.
Basic education deputy director-general for district, monitoring and support Palesa Tyobeka told the parliamentary portfolio committee this week that pupil admissions and registrations together with timeous provision of learner teacher support material were among the areas where significant progress had been made.
“On pupil admissions most provinces have managed to drastically reduce the number of unadmitted pupils,” Tyobeka said.
“The total number of pupils still not admitted to schools across all nine provinces stand at 7 457 with the majority of those being in the Western Cape which still hasn’t placed 4 660 pupils.
“Gauteng must be commended for managing to place thousands of pupils, with only 499 still needing to be placed. All provinces have given assurances that all pupils will be placed by the end of the month.”
Tyobeka said all provincial heads of departments had approved the strategy to address the challenge of pupils who apply for admission to schools at the beginning of an academic year during a meeting.
The committee welcomed the report that the majority of schools had received workbooks for all grades.
“All provinces showed significant improvement in the provisioning of textbooks compared to previous years. Shortages that were found were mostly at secondary school level but are being addressed.
“In eight of the nine provinces, less than 10% of schools reported challenges with the delivery of stationery,” Tyobeka said.
She said shortages that were found were being addressed.
The department said it would continue to monitor progress in schools around the country to provide support where necessary.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng department of education managed to place all pupils who applied for admission through the online registration and all walk-in applicants.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said: “All applicants are placed. Well done team GDE for placing all pupils who applied through our online registration.”
The department’s spokesperson, Steve Mabona, said the department, which started the 2018 academic year with 28 435 applicants, was still receiving queries from parents who were reluctant to accept offers of alternative placement.
“These queries are managed on merit and placement is allocated accordingly. I can confirm that all pupils who applied and all the walk-ins have been placed,” he said.