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Gauteng education warns of automatic placement for grade 1 & 8 pupils if parents delay taking up offers

Gauteng education MEC Matome Chiloane briefs media on placement of pupils and the department's readiness for matric exams.
Gauteng education MEC Matome Chiloane briefs media on placement of pupils and the department's readiness for matric exams.
Image: Supplied/GDE

The  Gauteng education department has offered places to 159,070 grade 1 and 8 pupils for the 2023 academic year.

Education MEC Matome Chiloane addressed media on Monday on the province's  readiness for the 2022 matric exams. 

So far, 87,608 pupils have been offered places in grade 1 and 71,462 in grade 8.

A total of 173,487 applicants for grades 1 and 8 are yet to be placed.

“This year we’ve had, so far, 332,477 applications,” he said.

Placement offers will be made until November 30.

Chiloane said he noticed parents who have not yet received offers are “anxious and panicking”. He urged parents to be patient and promised that all pupils will be placed.

Parents offered places were delaying in accepting them, mostly because they had not been offered places at their preferred school.

“Parents delay. They get offered these spaces and most of the time when they apply they want a particular school. [When applying] they need to put three [schools down] but they just add another two but their hearts are set on one.

“When we place them in any of the other two and not the one they wanted, they appeal.”

A total of 61,930 applicants who received offers have not yet accepted — 24,141 for grade 1 and 37,789 for grade 8.

The department will automatically place applicants after the seven-day acceptance period ends.

“We have given them an opportunity to accept and if they are not going to accept, we are going to place them. We have begun the automatic placement process so we can free places, because when you are offered two places the system knows those two are occupied.

“For us to free the other one, we need to place you,” Chiloane said.

Applicants who cannot be accommodated at their preferred schools due to the school having reached capacity, will receive offers of placement at the next closest school with available space.

“Parents who have been offered [the space], if you have not been auto-placed, accept now because we have many more that are waiting,” he advised.

“You can’t come back and say, 'This is not what I wanted'. Those who can appeal are those who are placed at a school they didn’t apply for — those parents have the right to appeal.

Parents who have been offered [the space], if you have not been auto-placed, accept now because we have many more that are waiting. You can’t come back and say, 'This is not what I wanted'. Those who can appeal are those who are placed at a school they didn’t apply for — those parents have the right to appeal
Matome Chiloane, Gauteng education MEC 

Previously the department indicated that about 275 primary and 221 secondary schools are regarded as high-pressure schools. The top five primary schools are

  • Laerskool Akasia in Pretoria;
  • Laerskool Theresa Park in Pretoria; 
  • Laerskool Rachel De Beer in Pretoria;
  • Palm Ridge Primary in Germiston; and
  • Lakeside Primary in Boksburg.

The top five secondary high-pressure schools are:

  • Hoërskool Langenhoven in Pretoria;
  • Alberton High in Alberton;
  • Parktown Boys in Joburg;
  • Phumlani Secondary in Germiston; and
  • Sir John Adamson in Johannesburg South.

National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) executive director Basil Manuel said there is no easy solution to the problem of high-pressure schools. More schools are needed and parents should be shown that schools where they live are doing the same job, he said.

“Unfortunately, people look at the schools further away and they look at the schools that are so-called high-pressure schools and they see they have much more.”

Parents want their children to learn in a top-performing school.

“When you start looking for a job and you tell an employer you come from [Parktown] Boys High, it means far more than if you came from another school that is not known and not recognised immediately.”

The National Association of School Governing Bodies' (NASGB) Matakanye Matakanye said it depends on parents to ensure their children attend schools where they live.

“It is time for [the] NASGB to talk to parents about this perception. If we need better education, we must stand for our schools. Play our role instead of sending our children to schools far from us,” he said.

Chiloane said the department was ready for the National Senior Certificate exams scheduled to start on October 31 and end on December 7.

The department has trained and appointed chief invigilators for the 1,018 exam centres. The centres, distribution points and district storage points have been audited to ensure the integrity of the exams is protected.

“We have appointed service providers to augment security in districts, such as armed escorts, response units and CCTV cameras,” said Chiloane.

An audit of computer applications technology (CAT) and information technology (IT) laboratories has also been conducted.

“One of the areas of focus for the audit was whether the centres have a generator to serve as a backup in the event of an electricity supply cut. Eskom and City Power have been informed of the dates on which CAT and IT practical exams are being written to minimise power cuts on those dates.”

Exam centres without generators will obtain or rent generators to avoid disruptions.

The department has also leased generators to ensure backup power is available for marking and capturing results.

TimesLIVE


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