The exclusion of thousands of pupils from attending well-resourced schools in Gauteng because of the feeder zone legislation will come to an end next year, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has promised.
The Constitutional Court, which last year ordered Lesufi to determine the feeder zones for public schools in the province within 12 months, has granted the department an extension to negotiate with school governing bodies in this regard.
It was given 12 months, from May last year, to do so.
“We are quite convinced, therefore, next year the feeder zone system will change drastically. So this is the last year for parents to complain that they have been excluded from the education system completely because they fall out of the feeder zone,” Lesufi said.
Last year, the court ruled against the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools’ appeal of a 2015 Supreme Court of Appeal ruling, which found that the Gauteng education department had the final say over schools’ admissions policies and feeder zones.
The department’s final say was therefore upheld. Meanwhile, parents have been urged by the Gauteng education department to beat the June 12 deadline to register their children for Grades 1 and 8 next year.
Lesufi announced that while 11 high-demand primary and high schools received more than 1 000 applicants each, some schools barely received 100, meaning some parents would have to settle for schools they didn’t want.
With the placement process for over 200 000 applicants already underway, the clock is ticking for parents who had yet to register.
Early stats showed that 391 schools received fewer than 100 applicants, 249 schools fewer than 50, 204 schools fewer than 45 and 58 schools where only 10 parents applied.