More than 16,000 pupils not yet placed
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says this is due to late applications, lack of space & relocations.
JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says schools are ready to receive more than 2.2 million pupils across the province tomorrow, but admits there are still backlogs in equipment and that some disruptions are expected.
Lesufi says more than 16,000 grade one and grade eight learners have not been placed in schools due to late applications, lack of space and relocations.
He adds the department expects this number to increase to around to 20,000.
The MEC today announced the department's plans for the first day of school and says more than 200,000 two new pupils have been placed in grades one and eight. He says they received over 138,000 applications for grade one and 101,000 applications for grade eight.
More than 80 percent of these applications have been successful.
The MEC says the majority of the province's nearly 3,000 schools are completely prepared for the first day and his department hopes to clear the backlog of unplaced learners by the end of February, but he says they are considering a shift system, among other options.
"We prefer to have, what we would call overcrowding at the beginning of this month until we've sorted out the spacing and location. There will be classes where instead of having 40 learners, we'll have 55 learners, for example."
He says there is a furniture backlog of 250,000 desks and 300,000 chairs at Gauteng schools.
At the same time, he says some teachers have refused to report to their classrooms, while there are planned protests elsewhere.
The MEC will be joined by deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa in Daveyton on the East Rand tomorrow morning, where he will unveil what's been described as the school of the future.