News / South Africa

Steven Tau
2 minute read
16 Jan 2017
7:00 am

All pupils to be placed by weekend, says education dept

Steven Tau

Shortages of schools has also been a challenge and, according to the department, the province is in need of 200 new schools.

Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for Education, during his visit to Hoerskool Overkruin, 12 January 2017, Pretoria North. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Gauteng education department aims to have cleared the backlog of unplaced pupils registered online by the end of this week. The department has come under fire from some parents who blamed the delays on the new online application system.

Yesterday, department spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said that as of Friday last week the number of unplaced pupils stood at 35 800.

“The situation might have changed as officials were working around the clock on Friday, helping parents manually. “We hope that, come the end of this week, all those who applied online would have been assisted,” Bodibe said.

He said another problem was that some parents who did not even apply for places for their children had turned up at the department’s offices. But Bodibe was confident in the online system, saying it had helped the department meet its objectives.

“I’m sure there are parents who applied for space for their children online who can attest to the fact that they did not have to stand in long queues.

“The other good thing about the system is that it has been accurate in terms of keeping up to date, as opposed to the manual system which makes it difficult,” Bodibe said.

Shortages of schools has also been a challenge and, according to Bodibe, the province is in need of 200 new schools.

“The process of building a new school can take up to 18 months and we have been building 18 per annum,” he said. Bodibe said a catch-up programme will be developed to assist the late-placed pupils where needed.

Meanwhile, during the first day of the new school year last week, several challenges were also experienced in parts of Limpopo where some schools did not have stationery or textbooks. The provincial education department said all learning materials would be delivered in due course.

On the issue of textbooks, spokesperson Naledzani Rasila said only “top-up” books were needed because some pupils had not returned their textbooks from last year.