More Than 10 000 Western Cape Pupils Need Placement In Schools

According to the Western Cape Education Department, over 10 000 learners still need to be placed at schools in the province.

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As of 14 February, approximately 10 500 pupils still have not been enrolled in Western Cape schools, especially for Grades 1 and 8.

Bronagh Hammond, the Western Cape Education Department, announced that a significant number of those unplaced pupils are late applications or learners from other provinces.

On Sunday, the DBE reported that the WCED has 2 440 unplaced Grade 1 pupils and 5 896 Grade 8 unplaced learners.

According to Hammond, a survey will be conducted on Friday 26 February the 10th day of school to gather a more precise report of how many learners still require school placement.

Hammond has announced that there have only been a handful of disruptions since schools welcomed pupils back on Monday 15 February.

Community groups and parents have staged a protest, at a high school in Khayelitsha, over learner placement at an overcrowded school.

Due to this placement issue, Equal Education has been approached by desperate parents seeking assistance with the enrolment of their children.

Equal Education has released a statement, which announced that although most learners returned to school, many stayed at home due to comorbidities, or their parents/guardians preferring to keep them at home.

The DBE’s COVID-19 Directions provide for the exemption of learners from compulsory school attendance, however, Equal Education noticed that many parents/guardians were not aware of this requirement.

The statement revealed that many pupils are being passed to the next grade while feeling that they aren’t meeting the curriculum demands.

Equal Education was concerned about the impact this would have on learner admissions in 2021 and raised this with the WCED in a letter in October last year and their response was “budget constraints”. 

The Western Cape government is encouraged to propose a plan for unplaced learners.

"For the WCED to use budget constraints as an excuse for inaction is unacceptable, education is an immediately realisable right," read the statement.

Click here for the full statement.

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