Motshekga appeals to parents for patience as schools place pupils

The Basic Education Department is hoping to clear the backlog in Gauteng by the end of this week when it will be able to see where there are openings.

Teachers,parents and pupils arrive for the first day of school at Norwood Primary in Johannesburg on 12 January 2022. Picture: Dominic Majola/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - On the first day of the 2022 academic year for inland schools, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has again appealed to parents to be patient to allow provinces to place all children in schools.

Motshekga has arrived in Randfontein for the first day of school this year.

The department is hoping to clear the backlog in Gauteng by the end of this week when it will be able to see where there are openings.

Motshekga told the SABC that the department was hoping to speak to Treasury to get more finances to build schools in urban areas, where more people relocate to for work opportunities.

"Our schools don't come cheaply now so we don't build blocks and say it's a school, so it clearly takes a lot to build a school but there is a major plan and programme and I've been discussing with the minister if finance to say how do we assist provinces in terms of capacity?" the minister said.

Meanwhile, grade ones at Norwood Primary School are visibly anxious, but some are excited for the first time at big school, as they call it.

Parents are on the sidelines as they bid farewell to their children.

A teacher at the school said that there were a few challenges.

"Parents are queueing outside and we said let's manage the situation even if their names are not on our list, let's take their children for a day and see how best we can help the parents because some parents even though they've done an online registration and they've been accepted, the kids don't come, so as a result, we have place for other kids. We've adopted that system for many years and it's actually worked for us," the teacher said.

It seems that teaching and learning will get under way at this school from Wednesday.