More than 28 000 Gauteng pupils still need to be placed

2018-01-16 18:20
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (Picture: Simone Kley)

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. (Picture: Simone Kley)

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Johannesburg – Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says 2 565 of the 31 000 pupils who had not been registered with schools have been placed, leaving 28 435 of them still without a place. 

Explaining the long queue of parents at the department, Lesufi said another 4 500 applications had flooded the department since Friday. Despite this, he said they were ready for schools to reopen on Wednesday.

Lesufi was speaking at the department in Johannesburg on Tuesday during a media briefing on school readiness. 

The MEC said that the education department was under huge financial pressure, adding that it costs R18 000 annually to educate a learner. 

READ: 30 000+ Gauteng learners still not placed for school

Lesufi appealed to parents and communities to refrain from disrupting schooling, and that he would dissolve student governing bodies (SGBs) that did not act in the interests of education. 

He announced that the SGBs at Northridge Primary School and Nellmapius Primary School had been dissolved, and that interim SGBs would be put in place at these schools. 

Some of the SGBs and management at the schools were accused by parents of being involved in corruption, mismanagement and racism, with some schools witnessing chaos over community members' disapproval of the fair appointments of black principals.

Lesufi said that he would be visiting some of the schools, hoping to stop any disruptions. 

"When there are disruptions to education, we will not hesitate to disband any SGB that is not advancing the interest of education… decisive steps will be taken," he warned. 

'47% of learners have failed'

At Nellmapius Primary School, the SGB and members of a policing forum broke into the school and stole food and stationery intended for students. Although the suspects appeared in court recently, they were released on R1 000 bail, Lesufi said.

A civil case would be initiated if need be to retrieve the stolen goods. 

He said the matter of Klipspruit-West Secondary School in Johannesburg south - in which community members don’t want the appointment of a black principal - had been taken to the national minister, who was convinced that the principal was the right person for the position, and that the process followed had been correct.

Lesufi expressed his disappointment at the drop in performance at the school, saying that it had never performed this badly since its inception.

"The school has never performed below 60%… 47% of learners have failed. We think it’s because of the tensions. We are reluctant to take new Grade 12s to that school because they will also fail," he said. 

Lesufi said he would visit the community on Thursday, after visiting Noordgesig Primary School on Wednesday - a school with a similar issue. 

The MEC is due to hand over a rebuilt school to Everest Primary School in Newclare, Westbury, on Wednesday, along with Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo.

Read more on:    panyaza lesufi  |  david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  education

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