Unions want better planning, improved application process to place WC pupils

Sadtu's Western Cape chairperson Jonovan Rustin said that there should be an education plan that includes discussions with teacher unions, parent bodies and the Department of Public Works and local government.

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CAPE TOWN - Better planning and improving the application process for schools are being seen as measures to help alleviate the ongoing placement problem in the Western Cape.

This is according to the South African Democratic Teachers Union (sadtu) and Congress of South African Students (Cosasa), who have criticised the provincial Education Department for not yet placing some learners in schools.

The academic year kicked off last week, but hundreds of pupils are still at home.

Sadtu's Western Cape chairperson Jonovan Rustin said that there should be an education plan that includes discussions with teacher unions, parent bodies and the Department of Public Works and local government.

He said that this was to look at the broader spatial planning for the province and the city to see where there were growth spots.

"So that our infrastructure development program can be aimed at alleviating the pressures that you find in the Delft, Kraaifontein, your Strand, your Mitchells Plain," Rustin said.

Meanwhile, Cosas said that it was also concerned about unplaced learners.

National spokesperson Douglas Ngobeni pointed to the online system, saying that it was partly to blame.

"A parent applies for a learner in a school which is 3.5km away from where the learner resides. The system says we want learns 3.4km maybe by a difference of 100m then you end up being rejected," Ngobeni said.

He said that the system automatically took parents to a school further away and the reality was that some parents could not afford that expense.

The department is yet to respond to this claim.