School gates open for the 2017 academic year
While it’s all systems go for the start of school the Gauteng Education Dept is still working to place thousands of children.
JOHANNESBURG – Children around the country are due back at school on Wednesday morning for the start of the 2017 academic year with various government officials deployed to administer the process.
However thousands of children in Gauteng have not yet been placed.
The Gauteng Education Department says it’s making some progress, but about 40,000 pupils are yet to be catered for.
While it’s all systems go for the start of school, the department says it’s still working to place thousands of children.
Spokesperson Oupa Bodibe says, “At the same time, we’re now inundated with parents that have never applied. So we have to deal with those problems simultaneously.”
Bodibe has appealed for patience and has asked parents to work with the department to fast-track the process.
“In some areas we don’t have enough schools and we’re trying to place them across the other schools.”
Various government officials will visit various schools around the country and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is due to open a new school in Soweto.
Frustrated parents say government has let them down with many standing in long queues at the Education Department in Johannesburg, trying to get their children placed.
Several parents have complained that they were told to apply online last year but their children still remain without a school.
Angry parents on Tuesday said they had been waiting since the early hours of that morning to sort out their applications.
One parent said that government has let them down.
“No. We remain here. They will find us tomorrow morning here. Some people work. Which boss will allow you to stay out of work for a week? End of the month, school must be paid. Where are you going to get money if you run the risk of getting fired?”
The Basic Education Department has confirmed that a total of 58,000 children still need to be placed, saying many have come from other provinces over the past few months.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)