Last-minute delays in placing new school pupils
WITH THE academic year starting today, the Gauteng Education Department says it has been able to reduce the number of pupils not placed to 40 000.
At the start of the week, the department said 58 000 pupils had still not been placed in grades 1 and 8. This was mainly because of problems with the online application system and late applications.
Gauteng education spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said that by midday yesterday, 18 000 pupils had been placed in schools.
“The Department is working hard to place all learners and assures parents that all their children will be placed in a Gauteng school.”
Delays in placing pupils could be attributed to parents who applied late and schools that could not update their systems because of the December holidays.
Bodibe said Gauteng also faced a shortage of schools and was facing rising demand for placement, so even some parents who applied early could not be placed.
Some pupils had still not been placed in schools in Joburg South, Joburg East, Pretoria North and Midrand. If parents from these areas were still looking for places, the department would place the children in schools in other areas.
“Parents are urged to accept offers of placement in the proposed schools.” Bodibe said district offices had set up operational centres in various schools across Gauteng to assist parents with placement.
“Over the past two days the department has been inundated by parents applying for the first time. While all effort will be made to place all learners, priority will be accorded to those who utilised the online system.”
Despite delays in placing pupils, the department was ready for the new academic year, Bodibe said.