Thousands of Learners Are Still Unplaced

Thousands of Western Cape leaners still remain unplaced as the Department of Educations struggles to fund new infrastructure and teachers. Public schools have now been open for a month. 

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Thousands of unplaced learners in the Western Cape are missing out on their first term of schooling. 

Around 6 400 learners have not been places in schools in the Western Cape. Director Of Communications, at Western Cape Education Department, Bronagh Hammond, says that this is due to late applications and leaners in underprivileged area struggling to find place.

There is a high demand for new schools and teachers, as certain areas of the Western Cape do not have to space or the staff to account for the large amount of unplaced learners.

Hammond says: 

Twenty new schools need to be built each year.

Western Cape also receives a high influx of learner from other provinces. This year around 19 000 learners from other provinces registered to Western Cape schools for the first time. 17 000 of them being from Eastern Cape. 

If you put that into perspective that is 19 new schools and 530 new teachers, that we need to provide those schools, plus textbooks and admin staff.

The Western Cape Department of Education is struggling to fund the building of new schools and the staff that it requires. In 2020, R450 million for the infrastructure budget had to be used on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to keep leaners and teachers safe.

Hammond says that there are not enough teacher to accommodate for all the learners and that if they were to get more teachers the department would struggle to pay them.

85% of our public schooling budget goes on salary costs.

There is a lot of stress surrounding the fact that unplaced learners are missing out on their first term of school but, Hammond believes the learner will have no trouble catching up with the 4 weeks of school they missed out on so far. 

The budget for education is not enough to accommodate for all its learners and this contributes to children missing out on their right to basic education.

Hammond says:

"It is not something we have been secretive about. we have been very open and honest over the last about 8 years saying we just cannot afford to keep up with this growth."

 

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