Around 11 200 Western Cape pupils still need to be placed in public schools for the 2018 academic year. Western Cape Education MEC, Debbie Schafer, said that 3 200 Grade 1 pupils and 4 400 Grade 8 pupils still need to be placed in schools.
“At this stage, parents will not be guaranteed their first school of choice if their children have not yet been placed. Parents should accept places they have been offered, or apply to schools that the district advises them to apply to. The majority of our schools have indicated that they are full. We can therefore only refer parents to schools where there is availability – these are only in certain areas and certain grades,” Schafer said.
She added that more than 130 000 learners have moved to the Western Cape from other provinces over the past five years, the majority of those learners are from the Eastern Cape.
“The challenge arises when people move to the province without planning in advance or without enrolling their children at a school. It therefore makes it impossible for the WCED to foresee and plan accordingly,” Schafer said.
Each district has officials who are working full time to assist parents place their children as the department expects further late arrivals in January and February. To accommodate growth the WCED ordered additional mobile classrooms last year.
Contractors are currently installing mobile classrooms to accommodate growth in rapidly growing communities. Most of the new mobile classrooms are already in place while others will be ready for occupation during February and March this year. It takes about six weeks to install mobile classrooms.
The department plans to redeploy teachers in excess of requirements at certain schools seeing rapid growth.
“We do encourage parents who plan to move to the Western Cape not to deregister their child or children from their current schools before securing a place at a school in the Western Cape.We urge parents who have arrived in the Western Cape this year to please report to their nearest district office on Monday to register their learners details so that we can place them as quickly as possible.” Schafer said