GDE behind target to relieve pupil placement challenge

The dept says with plans to build a school monthly, it's cautiously optimistic about the prospect of a smooth placement process.

Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng Department of Education says it is behind the 200-schools mark it is targeting for the number of schools needed to relieve the province of its learner placement challenges.

The department says it has to juggle building new schools at the rate at which suburbs are being developed, and maintaining old ones.

By Thursday the department was still faced with accommodating over 35,000 unplaced learners.

The department’s Oupa Bodibe says pockets of areas in Gauteng that still need schools, and population growth, have caused them to continuously miss the mark for an adequate number of schools needed to service the province.

He says with plans to build a school monthly, it is cautiously optimistic about the prospect of a smooth placement process next year.

“The reason we are struggling to place learners that applied early is because most of them tried in high-pressure areas where we don’t have sufficient schools. We are aware that we focused mostly in townships that where there were schools, but a new pressure has emerged.”

Bodibe says the department also aims to refurbish five old public schools and reintroduce them as schools for children with autism.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)