As of Monday, 12% of pupils had not yet been placed in a school in Gauteng, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has revealed."As I am speaking to you now, there are only 34 553 [learners] who do not have spaces at all in Gauteng. Therefore, according to this, we have managed to place 85% of learners. "Roughly 13 000 are in Grade 1 and 21 000 are in Grade 8," Lesufi said during a briefing at the department’s headquarters in Johannesburg.So far, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has managed to place 241 806 learners, which represents 85.5% of the 310 350 total applications.The placement period for the 2020 academic year has since been extended to November 30 to ensure that no learner is left without a school.ALSO READ: Gauteng education department’s admission placement extended to November 30Of the 34 553 pupils who had not yet been placed, the GDE had released 6 000 placement offers for parents to accept.On Sunday, panic ensued after parents were sent a text message from the department that should not have been released, according to the MEC."We want to assure parents that we have the matter completely under control, and our challenges will be responded to by extending our deadline to November 30," Lesufi added.Parents should note that they will be placed according to the following criteria:The applicant pupil's place of residence is closest to the school within the feeder zone;The applicant pupil has a sibling attending the school;The place of employment of at least one of the applicant pupil's parents is within the feeder zone of the school. The applicant pupil's place of residence is within a 30km radius of the school;The applicant pupil's place of residence is beyond a 30km radius of the school Should parents wish to decline a placement, they would be afforded the right to appeal."Success rate of appeals are reasonable, 17% become successful," Lesufi said."When your appeal is not successful, we give you an alternate. Every appeal has a happy ending." Lesufi further added that he understood parents wanting to ensure that their child was placed in what was deemed to be a "good public school"."We are not dealing with a system problem, we are dealing with preference. I would also prefer the best school for my child as well. I support those parents."I am confident, that the department will and can deal with the backlog. Once more, we apologise for the inconvenience caused to parents," Lesufi said.