No pupil will remain unplaced, even if it means overcrowding, says Limpopo education MEC

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Limpopo Education MEC says she will make sure every pupil gets a place in school.
Limpopo Education MEC says she will make sure every pupil gets a place in school.
PHOTO: Manaure Quintero, Getty Images
  • The Limpopo Education MEC says she will make sure every pupil gets a place in school, even if that means overcrowding.
  • Some schools she visited on Wednesday were overcrowded.
  • There wasn't a shortage of schools but rather a demand for schools in the cities, she said.

Limpopo Education MEC Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya has vowed that no pupil in the province will remain unplaced even it means overcrowding at some schools.

"It cannot happen that learners will remain unplaced. Remember, the government is the champion of education for all.

"I, the MEC, I'm a political officer and should be championing the rights and safety of all learners. Their rights start with a chair in the classroom. There is no way we can allow that type of a situation to prevail," Lerule-Ramakhanya said.

She was speaking to News24 on her whirlwind visit to schools in the Sekhukhune district on the first day of the 2023 academic year on Wednesday.

She maintained that the province has no shortage of schools, but had experienced an influx of parents to certain areas, especially urban, who demanded that their children be placed at schools of their choice.

READ | Tears, excitement, anxiety, joy mark first day of school in Gauteng

"But if the parents were to allow the kids to also [attend] school in the townships and villages, and not only in the cities, then we will be able to take care of our children. The team working on the issue tell me by Monday we should have been able to assist 90% of the parents," Lerule-Ramakhanya said.

During the visit to schools in Sekhukhune district, which were chosen because of their poor performance in the last few years, Lerule-Ramakhanya was confronted with overcrowding in classrooms, amongst others.

At Kweledi Secondary School in Praktiseer, the school governing body (SGB) erected a huge corrugated-iron shack that was divided into classrooms to alleviate overcrowding.

SGB deputy chairperson Merriam Magabe told News24 that since 2017 they had been writing to authorities about overcrowding at the school, but to no avail.

"The area is very hot and we fear that some of the learners may collapse in that shack," Magabe said.

"Now that the authorities have seen for themselves, we hope we will see some tangible action this year."

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