Gauteng MEC for education Matome Chiloane has assured parents that when schools open tomorrow, their children looking to start primary and secondary school will all have places.
“We are aware that some parents have not yet had their children placed in schools but we want to ensure that their children will be in school. We are working around the clock to ensure that those children are placed,” Chiloane told journalists at Hoërskool Jeugland in Kempton Park on Tuesday 10 January.
The education department confirmed in November that a total of 268 192 grade one and grade eight learners, whose parents applied using the Gauteng department of education online admissions system have been successfully placed.
Chiloane confirmed that out of the 292 145 applicants for grades one and eight, only 1 394 remain unplaced. He emphasised that he was working tirelessly to ensure that the children were allocated places as soon as possible.
But one parent, Sicelile Xulu, told the Mail & Guardian that she had had problems with the application system.
I do not understand why the manual system of applying was ended, it was better going to the school and getting assisted by another human being. I struggled with network connection when applying online because in our area the network gets bad during load-sheddingXulu
The MEC said the department had plans in place to address admission pressure and overcrowding and ensure that the 2023 school year proceeded as planned. He said four new schools were scheduled to open this year, one of them in Ga-rankuwa on Wednesday.
Another plan is infrastructure renovations. The MEC said maintenance had been carried out at 488 schools since last October, and funds had been allocated for building additional classes at 297 schools. Some 878 classrooms were currently being built, he added.
Chiloane pleaded with communities where schools are located to report acts of vandalism, saying 24 institutions had been damaged during the December holiday period.