The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng demands that no learner in 2023 must miss a day of schooling due to the Gauteng Department of Education’s failure to allocate school placements before the end of this year.
The Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, is tasked with a responsibility to ensure that all parents and guardians who applied on time for the Grades 1 and 8 online admissions should all receive placement offers.
The late placement of learners can no longer be tolerated, as it denies learners their constitutional right to access basic education. This will result in learners missing out on the much-needed everyday learning and falling behind in the curriculum.
Many learners across the province continue to suffer and are not being allocated schools timeously despite that they applied on time. This causes uncertainty and frustration amongst the parents who are supposed to budget and plan for their children’s stationery, transport, and school uniforms.
The DA propose that the department must use the information received from the online admissions to plan and prepare to ensure that schools have adequate learning resources. This includes amongst others, recruiting more teachers, providing additional classrooms, and replacing dilapidated mobile classrooms.
We will continue to monitor the process of learner placements to ensure that all parents and guardians who applied on time receive placement offers. Should we receive complaints from parents that they have not received any placement offers, we will directly engage with the department.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi to ensure that the online admission placement process for Grades 1 and 8 for the 2021 academic year is finalised by the end of November 2020.
The Gauteng Admission Online Applications period for Grades 1 and 8 learners for the 2021 academic year was closed on 25 July 2020.
This follows last year’s disastrous experience where many parents applied online for their children for Grades 1 and 8 and had not secured school placement timeously.
It is important that the online admission placement process is finalised by the end of November 2020 to give both parents and schools enough time to prepare for the 2021 academic year.
The DA believes that the department should use the current applications as an indicator for the need for additional resources for schools such as recruiting more teachers, providing additional classrooms, building new schools and delivery of LTSM.
The department should avoid last minute interventions which results in the disruption of learning and teaching in January and February each academic year.
The DA supports the online admission process and, if it is properly managed, will help to save time for both parents and schools and prevent unnecessary long queues and also increase transparency.
The department must fix all the glitches and communicate with all parents who applied on time. The DA will table further questions to MEC Lesufi at the next Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Education Portfolio Committee meeting to ascertain the progress made to date with regards to the online admission placement process.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) to ensure that all systems are ready and that there will be no glitches in the system for Online Admission Applications for the 2021 academic year which opens tomorrow.
The Gauteng Admission Online Applications period for Grade 1 and 8 learners for the 2021 academic year will commence on 25 June at 08:00 and close on 25 July 2020 at 24:00.
Following the previous year’s disastrous experience where many parents applied online for their children for Grade 1 and 8 and had not secured school placement timeously. In some instances, the parents were told that there were glitches in the system.
We believe that the department has learnt from the previous year’s disaster and have found ways of improving the system going forward.
The department’s head office and the district offices will serve as walk-in centres to assist parents to make online applications. The department has also identified 34 decentralised walk-in centres across the province where parents will also be assisted to make online applications.
We urge parents to apply for their children as early as possible so that they will have time to prepare for the next academic year.
For those parents who have no access to personal gadgets or with no network, they must consider visiting the walk-in centres for assistance, to avoid last minute panic.
The DA will continue to monitor the Online Admission Application process as failure to ensure the timeous placing of Grade 1 and 8 will have a negative effect on such learners, and schools which could impact on their educational outcomes.
New Schools Needed
The DA is highly concerned that into the second week of the school year, 19 913 learners across the province have not been placed in a school, with no concrete assurances in place from Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi as to when they will find themselves in a classroom.
Today, the MEC announced that 12 821 applications had been received through walk-ins at admission centres, of which 7 820 are for Grade 1 and 5 001 for Grade 8.
The learner: teacher ratio in the province is already high, making contact time difficult and focused interventions nearly impossible.
This highlights the department’s failure to rapidly equip the province with desperately needed new schools.
Online Registration System
Whilst the reduction of online placements is commendable, thousands of learners in the second week of the school calendar still await placement.
Parents have been given no assurance or deadlines as to when their children will be placed in school.
MEC Lesufi must communicate with parents and learners daily as to the number of placements made and provide assurance to parents that their children will be able to attend school. This will test the viability of the online registration system.
The DA will be closely monitoring the progress of school admissions in the province and we will continue to conduct oversight visits at schools to inspect the impact of more learners whether it was followed by more resources – such as additional teachers, classrooms, stationery and furniture.
Khume Ramulifho MPL
DA Gauteng Education Shadow MEC
082 398 7375