Motshekga pleads with parents to be patient as Gauteng tries to address school placement issues

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  • Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga was in Randfontein on Wednesday to observe the first day of the new school year.
  • She asked parents to bear with the Gauteng Department of Education as it tried to sort out the school placement backlog.
  • This came after it was revealed that hundreds of children were still awaiting placement.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has asked parents to bear with the Gauteng Department of Education as it tries to sort out the 2022 school placement backlog.

"To parents, I know it's upsetting, and it causes anxiety to parents and children to see other children going to school, but if they could allow provinces the space to clear the backlog and get all the data and information and verify what we have between today (Wednesday) and Friday," she said.

Minister Angie Motshekga at Matlapaneng Primary Sc
First day of school with Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at Matlapaneng Primary School in Randfontein.

Motshekga was speaking on Wednesday at Matlapaneng Primary School in Randfontein where she observed the first day of the 2022 school year.

As of Tuesday, hundreds of children were yet to be placed by the Gauteng Department of Education. While parents who queued outside district offices complained that the online system was an issue, Motshekga said it was necessary in a province like Gauteng, which had a lot of migrations from other provinces.

She said:

The online system is to help the administration to have a sense of where things are. If the province doesn't have a centralised database, it will not know where the issues and pressures are and where they can assist. For a province like Gauteng, technology is the only way to manage this situation. I think it is a good innovation for Gauteng.

"Today (Wednesday) and tomorrow we will be able to have a sense of things because in some instances you offer parents space, and they don't like it and don't take it, but in your books, they are in that space. We have to see now where the spaces are, and that is why the province said that after today parents must not go to schools. They must go to direct offices because they will have a sense of where the spaces are, and the province will have to deal with the issues schools are facing at a central level," she added.

READ | Parents prefer Model C schools which clogs up system, says Lesufi, as 700 Gauteng pupils unplaced

Parent Johanna Hyman waited outside the school gate with her son, who was in full uniform, hoping to get a placement for him. Hyman relocated to Randfontein after losing her job.

"I truly hope that I find space because I have already bought a uniform for this school so I am hoping that I will get space. I just hope that the minister will talk to the principal, and if there is space available, they can give us space today or tomorrow," she said.

Meanwhile, Motshekga said she was satisfied with Covid-19 compliance at schools.

She added:

If there is any sector that is Covid-19 compliant it is the education sector. We have really outdone ourselves. We have been with this thing (Covid-19) for two years, so we really know how to run things. We can even teach other sectors how to be Covid-19 compliant.

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