Schools opened for teaching in five South African provinces on Wednesday. However, parents are enraged as hundreds of learners do not have a place in Gauteng Schools.
Despite the anger demonstrated across the province, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) is adamant that learners will be placed in schools.
The province’s MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi says that at the same time in 2021, more than 35 000 learners were yet to be assigned to a school. At least 700 learners are still without a school as it stands.
Lesufi says that he does not only want to apologize to these parents but wants to reassure them that their children will be placed.
He said, “I want to reassure parents that last year during this particular period almost 85 000 learners were unplaced. Fortunately this year we are now left with less than 700 learners that still need to be placed
GDE spokesperson, Steve Mabona says that most of the parents coming to the department's offices are seeking assistance with late registrations. This as many of them have children that have either transferred schools or have relocated to the province.
He adds that there are certain areas with schools that don't have the capacity to take in all the learners from the particular area. This challenge is compounded by the fact that parents have preferences for a particular school as there is not enough space.
Mabona has also appealed to parents to be patient while the department works to resolve the issue. This comes after GDE staff had to stop work as parents began to protest in parts of the province.
Mabona said, “It's not the system, it's the capacity...We look at the capacity and check on where we will be in a position to accommodate them”.