Mpumalanga parents struggle to find place at schools

2017-01-19 17:09
(File, Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

(File, Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mbombela - The first week of school for some Mpumalanga parents had been a struggle as they were turned away from schools already filled to capacity.

“We applied at three schools in June last year but didn’t hear back from them. We continued to make late applications to other schools, but that also didn’t result in a placement,” Ira Pillay said.

Her daughter Zoey, 7, would start Grade 1 this year. 

In Gauteng, a total of 19 000 children were still waiting to be placed in Grades 1 and 8.

Pillay said she was not interested in sending her child to a private school as it was too expensive and did not offer “too many advantages”.

“It’s heartbreaking that my daughter has to miss one of the most important days of her life, a day she will never get back. I do however sympathise with the schools, as there is not much they can do about it being full,” said Pillay.

Another Mbombela parent with a child in Grade 8 said four schools had turned them away.

“There is a dire need for more schools in our area. The principals told us they were full and there’s nothing they could do. We have now been placed on a waiting list and been promised that our child will be placed by the end of next week,” the parent said.

Mpumalanga education department spokesperson Jasper Zwane claimed such cases were relatively isolated and that the province had generally been happy with the admission process for the 2017 school year.

“We have been informed of a few cases where parents were told that schools were full, but we are working hard to ensure that every pupil is placed in a school before the end of next week,” he said. 

Zwane said that in the current financial year, the department was mainly focusing on ensuring that existing schools had basic services such as sanitation and electricity. 

DA councillor in Mbombela, Tersia Marshall, said government was aware of the enormous shortage of schools but ignoring the situation.

“Next year, the shortage will be even greater. Parents are urged to apply to various schools as early as possible,” Marshall said. 

Read more on:    mbombela  |  education

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.