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Gauteng faces critical shortage of schools as over 40k pupils not yet placed

It’s revealed more than 40,000 of the 222,000 pupils who applied for those grades still don’t know where they will be starting the new school year.

© victority/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng is facing a critical shortage of schools. The provincial Education Department on Sunday gave an update on online registrations for grade 1 and 8 admissions.

It revealed more than 40,000 of the 222,000 pupils who applied for those grades still don’t know where they will be starting the new school year.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi cited various reasons for the placement backlog including invalid documents, while priority is given to those who live within the school feeder zone.

ALSO READ: Close to 20 people arrested in connection with illegal schools in Ivory Park

Lesufi said over 280 schools in the province have reached full capacity and could accommodate any more pupils.

“We are quite aware of the urgent need to build schools as part of our interventions. The department will be releasing funds to schools that have enough capacity so that they can build additional classrooms between now and January.”

He said the online admissions system was scheduled to open for late applications on the 22 December and close on 22 January.

“Those parents that have not applied at all, we are going to open the system for late applications. We are urging parents not to visit our schools but to upload documents using the system and only schools available placement will be opened for late registration. We are still quite aware that there are parents that can’t use electronic systems. The department is opening walk-in centres from 18-29 January.”

The MEC said despite the strain bought on by the pandemic this year’s online admission was successful with at least 81% of grade 1 and 8 pupils placed in Gauteng schools.

WATCH: Lesufi gets strict with illegal schools

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