Gauteng parents queue for schools like fans ‘at an Eminem concert’

2014-04-15 17:51

“I was number 100 in the queue. It was freezing, completely freezing. Parents had brought sleeping bags, coats, and made fires to keep themselves warm. It was crazy.”

Cathy Güles spent close to 12 hours queuing at Randpark Primary School in Joburg along with other parents who wanted to secure spaces for their children for classes next year.

“You would swear we were waiting for an Eminem concert,” she said.

Güles had arrived at 11:15pm. By 4:40am this morning, she said, there were well over 200 people in the queue. “There was commotion as some parents who arrived early in the morning [tried] to jump the queue. The gate was opened at 5am and I only left the school at 11am.”

These former Model C schools have two admission lists: the A list, meant for children who live within a 5km radius of the schools, and the B list, for those who come from other areas. Children on the B list are only accommodated once all those on the A list have been admitted.

This situation is as a result of the Gauteng education department’s catchment area policy, which prioritises admission for pupils who live within a 5km radius of a school.

Parents want to get their children into these schools because they have a reputation for delivering quality education.

An administrator at Parkview Primary School, who didn’t want to be named, said people had started queuing outside the school on Friday. She had five lever-arch files full of applications.

Gauteng’s highly sought-after public schools include Jeppe High School for Boys and Jeppe High School for Girls, Greenside High School, Parktown Boys High School and Parktown Girls High School, Parkview Primary, King Edward VII School, Pretoria Boys High School and Sunward Park High School.

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