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NC Education dept appeals for patience over school placements

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“We understand the frustration which this delay may have caused, but we appeal for your patience.”

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THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Education has assured parents that all learner placements will be finalised before schools reopen on Wednesday, January 27.

Department spokesperson Geoffrey van der Merwe said on Monday that the department is working closely with all districts in the Province to finalise the outstanding school placements.

“The department received a total of 40,949 applications for the 2021 school academic year across all grades. To date, 29,288 placement offers were generated and sent to parents. 23,923 of these parents have already accepted the placement offer and 5,365 are pending.

“The school population in the Northern Cape averages for the past three years approximately 305,000 learners, meaning that 3.8% of the total learner population in the Province must still be placed. This amounts to 11,661 learners that must still receive an offer for placement,” said Van der Merwe.

He added that the largest number of outstanding placements is in the Frances Baard District.

“There are 8,129 offers issued in the Frances Baard District with 4,701 offers still outstanding. The John Taolo Gaetsewe District has seen 7,263 offers issued with 4,304 outstanding offers, Pixley Ka Seme has 4,170 offers issued with 636 outstanding offers, ZF Mgcawu has 5,695 offers issued with 1,899 outstanding offers and Namakwa has 4,031 offers issued with 121 outstanding offers.”

Van der Merwe said the department is also working on measures to assist parents of Grade R learners who are still in search of placement.

“The department is in engagement with the Department of Social Development to see how best we can assist parents who have applied for Grade R but cannot be accommodated at a public ordinary school due to limited spaces available.

“Parents who have specifically applied for middle grades, from one school to another, these applications will only be considered if school space does exist,” he added.

Van der Merwe urged parents to remain patient and to first wait for a SMS from the department before going to the district offices.

“We understand the frustration which this delay may have caused, but we appeal for your patience. All learners will be placed at a school, unfortunately the department cannot guarantee placement at the preferred school. We have supplemented our teams working on the admissions in an effort to fast-track the process of placement.

“We will keep the public regularly informed about the status and progress on the 2021 admissions,” Van der Merwe concluded.

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