Schools in Gauteng have been facing some challenges since applications opened for grade 1 and grade 8 school admissions. The online application process for 2021 has made it difficult for the department to place all learners.
Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi said the education department received 222 000 applications and accepted 181 119 applications. However, more than 40 000 learners have not yet been placed in schools.
Applications for the 2021 Gauteng school admissions opened on 25 June and closed on 25 July 2020. The department allowed parents to apply to a maximum of 5 schools.
Lesufi said the online application process was "a huge headache for the department", as the application process is usually done over the course of 3 months.
"We had more applications than the number of classrooms that we had and this has created a huge headache for the department, our officials and also parents. We are quite aware that many parents are in panic mode, many parents are angry and anxiety has reached unacceptable levels," said Lesufi.
Schools in Johannesburg South, Midrand, Roodepoort and Bryanston are already full, leaving learners to look for schools outside these areas or to wait for more spaces to open up.
The department has asked parents to avoid waiting and accept available school placements.
Lesufi said the department has almost 200 schools that are willing to build new classrooms to accommodate learners. However, the budget cuts have affected all schools and some will not be able to build new classrooms for learners.
"What do these figures mean? We might not get additional teachers, we might not get an additional break to build a classroom, we might not get additional desks to give to learners, we might not also get additional textbooks. These budget cuts are devastating."
The Gauteng education department is working on a plan to ensure that all learners receive a spot in a school.