Tensions boil as Gauteng education department extends admission placements

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said officials at district offices, helping frustrated parents find schools for their children next year, were intimidated and attacked.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said officials at district offices, helping frustrated parents find schools for their children next year, were intimidated and attacked.
Image: PaylessImages

The Gauteng department of education has extended the admission placement for the 2020 academic year to the end of November.

On Sunday, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said officials at district offices, helping frustrated parents find schools for their children next year, were intimidated and attacked.

District offices were open on Sunday to deal with the backlog, but the process did not go smoothly.

“We are aware that some of our officials were assaulted, equipment and buildings vandalised. We call upon parents to be calm and not use violence at our offices,” Lesufi said, adding that some staff had to be persuaded to return to work.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said applications opened on May 20 and parents were given until July 22 to submit documents.

He said during that period 310,350 applications were made for Grade 1 and Grade 8.

Of that 27,563 applicants did not submit documents, while 282,787 submitted the required paperwork.

He said the placement period commenced in September and was supposed to end on October 31, but the process was ongoing until pupils were placed.

Mabona said the department remained committed to placing the 282,787 who submitted documents.

To date, 234,290 applicants had been placed, while 43,797 were unplaced.

“It is concerning that about 4,700 applicants have not yet accepted offers of placement,” he said.

“Parents are urged to accept offers of placement, as these spaces will not be available after a seven-day period.”

Mabona said 411 schools had reached capacity, adding that most had extended their capacity to accommodate as many pupils as possible.

“Applicants who cannot be accommodated at these schools are placed at schools with available space.”

Lesufi said schools were making “every effort” to accommodate all, in line with admissions regulations.


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