Angry parents vent frustrations over school placements in Tshwane

2020-01-15 14:47
Parents queue in Mamelodi to get places for the their children at Gauteng schools (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Parents queue in Mamelodi to get places for the their children at Gauteng schools (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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Seething parents who started queuing outside the Mamelodi Teachers Centre in Tshwane from as early as 02:00 on Wednesday, are ready to wage war with the Gauteng education department.

Dozens of visibly irate parents vented their frustrations over the online registration system and the long queue to have their children's application issues resolved.

READ | Tears, cheers and hugs as pupils start first day of school in Cape Town

Parents lining Seapeng Avenue had complaints ranging from children not being placed in the school of their choice, to children not being placed in a school at all, despite applying on time.

Mapule Mphiwa, who started queuing very early in the morning, said she applied in June to have her daughter placed for Grade 1, and had still not received confirmation of placement.

"The online system is useless, they must scrap that system," Mphiwa told News24.

'She is very sad'

The mother, who is six months pregnant, said she was highly frustrated while her daughter sat at home crying because she wanted to go to school with her friends.

"She is very sad. It’s devastating to see a child cry because [she] wants to go to school."

Mphiwa also complained about standing under the hot sun, without water or toilet facilities.

She said she had approached security guards to use a bathroom but was denied. 

school placements

                        Long queues as parents try to get their children into school as first term starts. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Several elderly people who were queuing to have their grandchildren placed, also took a beating from the hot conditions.

Cecil Braam, 66, said his grandchild had been placed at a school to start Grade 1.

When he dropped his grandchild off at the school on Monday morning, he was informed that the school had no record of the placement.

Agrinwet Rathelele, 59, had a similar issue and had been waiting in line since 03:30. By 10:00 she was still not helped.

"I'm feeling tired, dizzy, hungry and thirsty. They aren't helping me," Rathelele said.

Goodness Mabuza, who joined the queue at 03:00, was finally helped around 09:15.

She applied online, as registration opened in 2019, to have her son placed in school for Grade 8.

She applied to two schools, but her son was ultimately placed in a school where she didn't apply.

She appealed the placement but never heard back from the department.

"I had to settle for a school I didn't apply for, but no one told me anything about my appeal," Mabuza said.

"I'm very frustrated, my son is also frustrated. We didn't enjoy the festive season because of the stress and not being sure about what school he would be going to."

Several parents and guardians also said that they hadn't applied yet. Many claimed that they could not use the online system as an excuse for not applying.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  education
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