More than a million pupils to fill Western Cape schools

2017-01-09 20:30
School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

School desks. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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In the wake of the 2016 matric results, we spoke to Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer. In this video Debbie explains how borderline pass learners, who are progressed to the next grade, affect the overall pass rate. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - More than one million pupils are expected to fill classrooms across the Western Cape in 2017, the provincial education department said on Monday.

In addition to the current institutions, three new schools and six replacement schools, along with 179 additional classrooms, are available to accommodate them, while 119 mobile classrooms will be deployed as required.

Education MEC Debbie Schafer said in a statement that most preparations for the new academic year were completed well before the end of 2016.

Officials were also working around the clock to accommodate late enrolments and pupils who had not yet been placed, she said.

"The WCED introduced the new School Admission Management Information System in 2014. This system has assisted us in providing clear data and indicating which schools are full or still have space," Schafer explained.

READ: Jonathan Jansen stirs the matric pot from afar

‘Obligation to assist’

Parents experiencing difficulties, or who have failed to enrol their child, were advised to visit their nearest school, as there could be some enrolment cancellations after the school holidays.

Alternatively, she said, they could opt to approach the local district office for help with finding a place at a school.

"While we will do our best to conduct this process as quickly as possible, the fact that a child has been enrolled late has not afforded us the opportunity to plan in advance, as we have done for other learners who enrolled early last year," Schafer said.

"The WCED has an obligation to assist all parents with placement of their children. This, however, does not mean that we guarantee a place in a school of choice, even if these schools are the closest to their new home."

READ: SA education system one of the worst in the world - The Economist

Meanwhile, the African National Congress in the Western Cape said it would be monitoring the opening of schools to deal with problems and complaints as they arise.

The party’s members of the provincial legislature caucus had already been deployed to observe and assist, ANC chief whip in the Western Cape legislature Pierre Uys said.

"[They] will check and keep an eye on issues like placement of learners, the availability of learning material, equipment, infrastructure, oversized classes, learner safety, withholding of report cards of poor learners, assistance to disadvantaged or repeat learners and unfilled teaching positions," he said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  education

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