Concerns over school-less learners

Afriforum is concerned about the large number of learners who have not yet been placed in schools for 2017.

“The fact that numerous provinces do not have enough schools to accommodate learners once again indicates that the department of education is incompetent and continuously neglects to monitor the population growth and movements in the country in order to build schools according to necessity,” said AfriForum in a statement.

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The organisation said in certain provinces schools had double the number of learners they had a capacity for, which indicated the extent of the problem.

“Many parents in Gauteng, for example, have experienced problems with the online registration platform, which also attributed to many learners not being registered at schools,” said AfriForum education project coordinator Carien Bloem.

“Learners who have not been placed in schools will have to wait up to a month to get feedback from the department on whether they possibly have placement in a school.”

Bloem said the basic education department was playing political games with schools’ language policies, names and emblems that must be changed.

AfriForum said it was also concerned that the situation would be exploited and pressure would be put on Afrikaans single-medium schools to provide multilingual education.

AfriForum has already received complaints from Afrikaans schools who are under this pressure in this regard and is willing to assist schools with advice,” said the organisation.

A total of 40 000 Grade 1 and 8 learners still needed to be placed in schools in Gauteng.

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Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said placement was being complicated by schools in Woodmead‚ Midrand‚ Sandton and Fourways.

Two schools in Pretoria, Hoërskool Overkruin and Hoërskool Montana‚ took Lesufi to court on Wednesday over being expected to accept more learners when the schools were already full to the brim.

Lesufi has however, lauded the online registration system the department launched last year for reducing the number of unplaced learners on the first day of school compared to previous years.

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Reitumetse Mahope

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