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Dept of Education working on placing learners

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The department has already missed deadlines.

File image. Picture: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

WHILE Northern Cape parents are anxiously waiting to hear about their children’s placement in schools for 2021, the Northern Cape Department of Education said that it was doing its best to finalise the outstanding placements on or before January 8, 2021.

The department previously indicted that parents would know by December 15 2020.

Parents will be expected to either accept or decline the placement offer on the www.ncdoeadmissions.org website on or before January 15.

Department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said that the department will grant a 7 day window period for parents to do this, failing to do so, the department will place learners.

Parents are already fearful that they may have to queue at the department’s district offices in search of placement for their children in the new year.

“The department indicated that parents would know the outcome of their applications by December 15. We, however, heard that parents who applied to Afrikaans-medium schools already had feedback on their applications. It is only the English-medium learners who still need to know where they will be attending. It is so unfair.”

Other parents pointed out that their preparations for the 2021 academic year are being ruined.

“We wanted to get school uniforms before the school shops closed. There are rumours that we will only hear about the results of our applications a few days before schools reopen in the new year. We can already foresee that parents will be lining up at the department to appeal their placements and requesting space for their children. The department always acts like it is not aware of the number of learners there are in the Province,” they said.

According to the department, to date, 22 601 placement offers have already been issued to parents, of which 37,3% successfully accepted the placement.

“The Online Admission System will open for late admissions from January 11-18, 2021 for those parents who haven’t applied yet.

“Late admissions will be treated on a first come first serve basis.

“The department will avail walk-in centres in each district to assist parents with their online late application as well as parents wanting to accept or decline their placement offers,” Van der Merwe said.

He added that the walk-in centres will be operational from Monday, January 11, 2020, where parents who will be applying for late admission applications will have to either accept or decline their placement offer on or before Monday, January 25, 2020.

“Thereafter, the department will take the onus of placing the learner.

“Together with the cooperation of parents, we will be able to place all learners before the 2021 school academic year commences on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, fulfilling the right to education,” Van der Merwe said.

The department urged all parents who opt to make use of walk-in centres, to comply with the Covid-19 regulations and guidelines.

Parents who are able to access the online admissions website from their home, are also urged to do so, instead of visiting the walk-in centres for the smooth start of the 2021 school academic year.

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