Gauteng to partner with Curro schools for help in 2020 pupil placements

Curro private schools have stepped in to help the Gauteng education department with the placement of pupils at Curro schools.
Curro private schools have stepped in to help the Gauteng education department with the placement of pupils at Curro schools.
Image: Oliver

The Gauteng department of education (GDE) has processed about 700 placement application appeals and will inform parents of the outcomes on Tuesday.

As the 2020 academic year starts, the department says it has done everything possible to ensure a smooth start to the first day of school on Wednesday.

“Our parents are accustomed to the online admission application process. During this period we received many applications on the first day, more than all other years, which means parents are getting used to the system," said department spokesperson Steve Mabona.

“We applaud parents who applied on time for grade 1 and 8 online admissions for 2020.”

He said all appeals were carefully considered and fairly adjudicated.

“Our challenge is [more] capacity than the system. Parents are reluctant to accept offered spaces for different reasons.

“Unfortunately, we can only accommodate a certain number of learners at our schools and as such call upon parents to accept placement offers as these are the only spaces available at some schools."

On Wednesday the department will open the system for late online applications and close on January 24 2020.

“Only schools with capacity will be availed in the system during this period. Applicants will provisionally be placed until they submit documents to the school accordingly. No objections or appeals will be entertained,” Mabona said.

He said based on the statistics provided by their system, there were 912 primary schools and 374 high schools with space available for late applications.

All district offices were operating as walk-in centres to help parents with applications from January 15-24.

The GDE on Tuesday announced that "to mitigate to capacity challenges, we are, administratively, finalising a partnership with Curro to accommodate our children at their schools".

These were looked at in line with the fee structure of Curro schools compared to that of public schools, which in principle will be a discounted fee, according to a statement from the department.

"We are indebted to Curro for the willingness to assist. We are also interacting with other private schools to assist us."

Serious capacity challenges, the department said, were being experienced in the districts of Tshwane west, Tshwane south, Johannesburg central, Johannesburg east, Johannesburg north and Ekurhuleni south.

"As such, we are finalising the process of providing temporary accommodation in the form of mobile units at some affected schools as a matter of urgency. This will also be extended to some schools that were vandalised or burnt by the community. As another method of intervention, we had to negotiate with some schools to increase their capacity to accommodate more learners and such school will be prioritised in provisioning of mobile units."