MEC for Education in Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali
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More than 40,000 grades 1 and 8 pupils have yet to be placed at schools in Gauteng for next year but the provincial education department says it is confident no child will be left out of school.

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the department had already placed 181,119 out of the 222,275 online applications received this year. Lesufi was yesterday updating the media on the online placement system that has been plagued by problems in the past and frustrated parents seeking admission for their children.

"So far we have placed 88,503 grade 1 pupils and 18,823 have not yet been placed. Also, 92,616 grade 8 learners have been placed, with 24,333 waiting to be placed.  Currently, 144 primary schools and 136 high schools have reached full capacity and cannot accommodate any more placements,” Lesufi said.

He said it should be noted that unplaced applicants, including those who had been transferred, will next Monday be given an opportunity to choose their schools from a list with available spaces.

“We will prioritise those who applied on time and they will be given first priority and the late registration ones will take whatever is available. The number of classrooms we have in Gauteng can match the number of applicants but people are choosing fewer schools that they think are doing very well,” Lesufi said.

Lesufi said the system will open from December 16for the 22,460 applicants who did not submit their documents during the application period.

“Parents who have not yet applied will get a chance for late applications from December 22 until January 22,” he said.

“It is common cause that we need immediate, medium and long-term interventions in the form of new schools, ordinary classrooms, grade R classrooms, toilets and other amenities to both alleviate infrastructure backlogs and cater for the admissions requirements.  Three schools will be ready for the beginning of the 2021 academic year,” Lesufi said.

He said another form of intervention will be to transfer funding to schools that have demonstrated sound financial management and governance to construct additional classrooms using local resources in their immediate communities.

Lesufi also mentioned that Covid-19 had had an impact on the delivery of learning, teaching material and stationery.

“The deliveries were scheduled to commence on September 1 and be completed by October 31,” he said.

“However, due to the impact of Covid-19, the plan could not be strictly implemented without adjustments. So far we have managed to deliver 62% of text books and 59% of stationery and we should be at 100% as of today. This process will be concluded before the re-opening of schools next year.”

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