As schools reopen on Monday, some learners remain without placements. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the department continues to struggle with this.
The Minister addressed the media on Sunday afternoon about the reopening of schools. The department had postponed the reopening in January, following uncertainty about the Covid-19 variant discovered late in 2020.
Now, cases have declined and some learners are back at school, while others struggle to find placements.
Despite efforts made by provinces to place learners, more than 16 000 learners are still waiting to be accepted into schools.
"The demand for space in schools, especially in Grades 1 and 8, remains a challenge for the Sector. All provinces are experiencing a high demand in particular areas," said Motshekga.
The department is working on a plan to address the shortage of school placements as many concerned parents have already contacted the department.
“The Council of Education Ministers (CEM) met yesterday; and the matter of school admission was identified as critical, because the system cannot afford to see any learners being left behind.
“It was agreed that provinces would work with speed to place all the learners in the next week. CEM appeals to parents and guardians to cooperate with officials at the District level, in order to accelerate the placement process.”
Learners who have been placed in schools can expect the rest of the school year to go as follows:
- Term 1: 15 February - 23 April 2021.
- Term 2: 3 May – 9 July 2021
- Term 3: 26 July – 1 October 2021
- Term 4: 11 October – 15 December 2021
The Minister has urged everyone to continue following safety protocols in order to keep schools safe.
"Let us continue to adhere to the health and safety protocols – wear masks appropriately; sanitise and wash your hand with water and soap; keep social distancing; and avoid large gatherings. I urge every one of us to play our part in keeping our communities safe and healthy." said Minister Motshekga.