Basic Education Dept confident Gauteng pupil placement backlog will be cleared

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that over the next few days officials would be able to see where children without schools could be placed.

Pupils at a Gauteng school line up for the first day of school on 12 January 2022. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey Makhaza/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Basic Education Department is confident that by next week the backlog with school placement would be cleared in the province as it becomes clearer how many children have accepted their offered spots.

Minister Angie Motshekga said that by Tuesday, the Gauteng Department reported that 4,000 children still needed to be accommodated in schools.

Speaking to the SABC, the minister said that over the next few days officials would be able to see where children without schools could be placed.

"In some instances, parents apply, you admit, and they don't turn up. Perhaps they have another alternative. Between today, tomorrow and Friday we will be able to see where there are empty spots see where we can place learners and that's where we can place them. We want parents to be patient with us," the minister said.

Coastal schools are set to open from next week.

The department said that there was also a backlog in school placement in KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape schools, which they had to deal with.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Education Department said that it had worked hard to place as many pupils as possible ahead of the 2022 academic year.

"At the end of December 2021 the were approximately 600 Grade one's and 3,200 Grade 8's that still needed to be placed in the Western Cape we have since had progress in reducing these figures further during the holiday period, but we have had to deal with new and late applications coming in and the closure of schools" said department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond.