At this time of the year, learning is delayed for some learners due to placements. This is one of the concerns that will resurface as Coastal Schools learners return to the classroom.
Prior to inland schools reopening for the 2023 school year, Department of Basic Education (DBE) spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga had mentioned that the department is confident that all will go accordingly as it prepares to begin 2023.
However, it is during this time of the year that the department, parents, and learners are under extreme pressure of late applications and unplaced learners.
Coastal schools in provinces such as the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, and Northern Cape are expected to report to schools on 18 January 2022, a week after inland schools.
Although some schools in these provinces are already full to the brim, Provincial Education Departments continue to work hard to make sure that every single learner is placed.
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has confirmed that it is ready for the 2023 school year, with 35,872 teachers and 7,578 public service staff returning to schools today to prepare for the arrival of more than 1.2 million learners on 18 January 2023.
In an interview, WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said:
”We are in the best possible position to kick off the school year given the high demand for placement”.
As of 14 January 2023, the Education Department has managed 99.2% of Grade 1 and Grade 8 placement requests for the 2023 school year, and it is in the process of placing 0.8%, for these grades.
According to Hammond, over the past 7 years, the department has witnessed the trend of an average of 21 000 learners from outside the Western Cape province who have been registered for the first time.
Some education experts have explained that this is the result of families migrating to urban areas.
The Western Cape received 25 212 late applications for Grades 1 and 8 after the 15 April 2022 deadline for online admission applications and this includes 272 extremely late applications received after schools closed on 15 December 2022.
The Education Department expects to receive many more late applications once schools reopen on 18 January 2023.
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As it is very difficult to place learners at this extremely late stage, parents arriving now must be prepared for a delay in the placement of their children, advised Hammond.
Parents and caregivers who are yet to apply for a place for their child have been advised to contact their Education District Office immediately and they have been urged to not queue up outside schools with the expectation of being accepted to their school of choice.
However, the Education Department has also shared that it is doing everything in its power to find places for learners as quickly as possible.
Western Cape Education has also asked parents, caregivers, and organizations to act responsibly when approaching our schools and district offices during this period.
As inland schools reopened on 10 January 2022, several children are still unplaced in provinces such as Gauteng but the provinces continue to put in the effort to place learners.
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