Thousands Of Learners Unplaced One Week Before School Starts


With the 2023 school year set to begin in one week, learners in one province are yet to know which school they will be attending. The Department responsible for placing these learners says capacity at schools remains a key challenge.




The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) is yet to find a place for around 2000 learners in the province. The department has limited time to find these learners a place at a school in the province before the 2023 school gets underway in one week’s time.

The provincial education department opened the online application system for Grade 1 and Grade 8 late registrations during December 2022. This allowed parents who failed to submit placement applications during the original application period to apply for the placement of their children. The GDE late application period will end on Tuesday, 31 January 2023 at 00:01 AM.

GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona says around 5,000 applications received by the department during the late registration period were successfully processed. Despite this, around 2,000 learners still do not know which school they will be attending in the coming days. 

Mabona explained that the unplaced learners are not due to the department's online system having deficiencies, but rather the lack of capacity at school in the province and an overall increase in the number of applications received by the GDE. 

“The system works very smoothly because we've received more applications which meant that we could then place you know a higher number than last year and I mean when we talk about late registration you would have seen that last year we in the early stages of the year we were sitting with over 20,000 of those that were not in the system,” explained the spokesperson.

The GDE has transferred funding to schools to build more classrooms in an effort to create additional space for learners at schools in the province. Schools are also being supplied with mobile classrooms.

“It's not a system problem, it's a capacity problem…we are building new schools, we are providing you know mobile units and we are working with schools that can be in a position to do what we call a self build,” added Mabona. 

Public schools in Gauteng  will officially reopen and resume learning on Wednesday, 11 January 2023. Mabona is confident that schools are ready to start teaching on the first day of school as learner material and all the resources needed for teaching have been delivered to schools around the province. 





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