Thousands Of Learners Still Not Placed In Schools


Schools have now opened up for the 2021 school year. However, thousands of learners in the Eastern Cape have still not been placed in schools and this is of course a major concern.


More than six thousand learners have not been placed in schools in the Eastern Cape. This is said to be due to a lack of resources, quality learning and the provision of English.

The Department has also said that learner migration is another contributing factor as learners are migrating from township to urban schools.

Reports of over 4000 grade 1s and almost 2000 grade 8s not being admitted at schools came to light.

The Department has said:

We can assume that the numbers have moved and we can assume that there's very few learners which are still left unplaced.

Nelson Mandela Bay has the highest number of unplaced learners.

Unplaced learners will be referred to neighbouring circuits or schools that have available space. 

Eastern Cape Was Not Ready For The First Day Of School

The Department also had a delay in the delivery of textbooks but the department promised to have textbooks ready for the first day.

Basic Education Portfolio Committee said last week, "It's about 28% in some districts and about 32% in others" when it came to the delivery of textbooks.

There are also issues with classrooms with some teachers and parents threatening to shut down schools.

Classrooms, classroom floors and school toilets in the Eastern Cape are not in good condition. Schools in the province also have a lack of electricity.

Eastern Cape also has a shortage of classrooms.

At Jubilee Primary School, construction on new classrooms was started years ago after the school was partially burned down in 2013, but has still not been completed. This then means that more than 1200 learners have to be accommodated in eight classrooms.

The Principal of the school wrote to the department to improve the conditions and the school but has still not received a response.

It has also been a struggle for safety protocols to be followed. Learners are also forced to suffer in adverse weather conditions.

It has now lead to parents writing to schools and departments to plead with them to fix these issues.

Another issue is that of teachers as the province struggles to fill teacher vacancies. 827 teacher vacancies had to be filled ahead of the beginning of the 2021 academic year. 

Basic Education Portfolio Committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said that it's not realistic that all of these vacancies will be filled before the schools reopen as processes haven't been put in place to make this happen. 

The Department has said that they are committed to placing these learners and dealing with other issues.

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