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Capacity reached at Western Cape schools for 2023

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The Western Cape Education Department has made progress in placing learners for the 2023 school year, but schools in the province are now full. Photo: Edrea du Toit/Netwerk24
The Western Cape Education Department has made progress in placing learners for the 2023 school year, but schools in the province are now full. Photo: Edrea du Toit/Netwerk24

Schools in the Western Cape are filled to the brim for the 2023 academic year.

This according to David Maynier, provincial education minister, who admitted the province’s education system remains under severe pressure despite efforts to alleviate enrolment pressures ahead of the new year.

“We have made tremendous progress in placing learners for the 2023 school year in the Western Cape,” he said. “As of Tuesday 20 December, we have placed 111 616, or 99%, of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for the 2023 school year, and are in the process of placing 680, or 1%, of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for the 2023 school year.”

In November, the provincial education department announced its ambitious school infrastructure delivery plan, which includes two new mobile schools – a primary and high school – in Klapmuts. Both schools will be ready for use when the new school year starts.

Furthermore, the programme is aimed to deliver 842 additional classrooms with at least 26 000 additional places for learners in the province, as well as an increase in the number of teaching posts.

Maynier pointed out 50 160 more Grade 1 and 8 learners have been placed than this time last year. “Our officials and schools have done a phenomenal job under extreme pressure to make sure that they find a place for every child,” he said.

“We are leaving no stone unturned in our effort to place every learner, and we will continue to work to finalise placement for all remaining learners. However, the education system is still under immense pressure: our schools are full, and we are going to struggle to place learners whose parents only apply on arrival in January next year.”

He called on communities’ support in delivering new schools and classrooms needed in identified areas. “We must all work together to prioritise the delivery of school infrastructure for our children.”
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