Masiphumelele parents waiting to find places in schools for their children

2017-01-20 07:47
(File, Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

(File, Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Thembela Ntongana, Groundup

Cape Town - More than a week after the beginning of term 7 900 pupils have not found places in schools in the Western Cape, according to Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schafer.

Noxolo Ntshuntshe and Samkelo Mjambo are among the parents who have not been able to find places for their children in school. They are both from Masiphumelele, which has only one primary school and one high school.

Ntshuntshe, a domestic worker, has to take her 7-year-old son Yamkela to work with her because he has no place in school. Yamkela should have been enrolled in Grade 1 this year. She says she applied very early last year to three schools — Simon's Town School, Sun Valley Primary School and St James RC Primary — hoping her son would get into at least one of them.

But, she says, all the schools have told her she is on the waiting list.

"I thought I was safe when I applied early for my son but that doesn't seem to be the case. I want him to get a better education than I had. But it doesn't seem like it will happen," says Ntshuntshe.

She says if Yamkela is not admitted this year he might have to repeat Grade R.

Mobile classrooms

Mjambo, a security guard, moved his son from the Eastern Cape because 10-year-old Ayakha's guardian there is not in good health.

Ayakha is supposed to start Grade 4 this year.

"Now I do not know what to do, because he can't go back home, and here there is a possibility that he might not get a school," says Mjambo. "If he doesn't get into school this year, he will be a year behind."

"I do not like leaving my son at home when I go to work, when he should be at school."

Mjambo applied only to Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele because he says he can't afford fee-paying schools.

Schafer said in the last week the department had deployed 119 mobile classrooms which can accommodate more than 4 000 learners.

She said once the department had determined the areas, ages and grades of the pupils who were waiting, the department would look for spaces in schools that could still accommodate them, order new mobile classrooms and find new sites in which to place them.

Read more on:    debbie schafer  |  cape town  |  education
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