Home News 2 500 NC pupils still to be placed

2 500 NC pupils still to be placed

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The Northern Cape Department of Education says the school placement process will be finalised over the weekend

Parents queue at the Department of Education offices seeking answers on the placement of their children. Picture: Danie van der Lith

WITH nearly 2 500 school placements still in the process of being finalised, the Northern Cape Department of Education has assured parents that all learners will be placed before schools open for the new academic year on Monday.

Department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said the placement process will be finalised over the weekend.

“We have managed to already place 1 549 learners who appealed to the Office of the MEC and will process the remaining 2 466 over the next couple of days,” said Van der Merwe yesterday.

He said that some parents were delaying the placement process as they have not accepted placement offers.

“The Office of the MEC has been inundated with admission appeals from parents seeking placement at a preferred school. The department is also aware that a significant number of parents have appealed to the Office of the MEC while they have received an offer for a school they applied to. This situation has created major delays for the department,” said Van der Merwe.

“A large number of parents delayed the entire process by not accepting or declining the spaces offered to them, although they were given more than seven days to do so. These learners were ultimately allocated spaces by the system at a school applied to.”

Van der Merwe added, however, that despite the delay caused by parents, the department is on track with placements.

“The admissions of learners are 100% completed in the Namakwa and Pixley Ka Seme districts. The Frances Baard, ZF Mgcawu and John Toalo Gaetsewe districts are expected to conclude all placements by the latest on Sunday, February 14, 2021,” he said.

“The department has indicated from the onset that there are limited school spaces available for Grade R learners. Parents of learners that have not been allocated a space at a public school will be required to enrol their child at a community-based site.

“Parents should note that school hopping will not be allowed where the current school offers the next grade. Middle grade applications will therefore only be considered where school spaces do exist and parents relocated from another district or province.

“The department will ensure that all learners of compulsory school-going age will be placed. This will, however, be at a school that has space and not necessarily at a school of choice,” Van der Merwe added.

He said the department had noted the feedback from parents on the introduction of the online admission system.

“The department learned valuable lessons with the new online admission system, which was a first experience for the department as well as parents. We thank all parents – those that commended the department for the well-functioning system and also those that have criticised us – for their feedback.

“Overall, the experience encountered by parents differed from one to another and we take note of all the comments raised. We are confident that, with time, the efficiency of the system will definitely improve.

“The department is looking forward to a smooth start to the 2021 school academic year and wishes all educators and learners well with the new academic year,” Van der Merwe concluded.