WC schools are oversubscribed for 2023, so where do pupils go? - Naptosa

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Yasierah Adonis, Naptosa Western Cape provincial chairperson, about the challenges parents are experiencing with schools being over subscribed for 2023.

  • Most schools are oversubscribed in the Western Cape.

  • This is due to an influx of new learners into the province.

  • Unions want the Western Cape Education Department to relook at it's admissions policy.

...

© stockbroker/123rf.com

Parents of pupils entering grade one and grade eight in the Western Cape are scrambling to enroll their children, as most schools are oversubscribed. The 17 June deadline set by the Western Cape Education Department is looming, yet thousands of children have not yet been placed. Many parents have vented their frustrations on social media, with unions urging the department to address the crisis.

Refilwe Moloto spoke to Yasierah Adonis, Naptosa Western Cape provincial chairperson, about the management of admissions and registration of learners in the province.

As a union, we've been getting queries from parents asking what to do. The process has been outlined, but there's no joy.

Yasierah Adonis, Naptosa Western Cape provincial chairperson

Education unions and activists say learner placement at schools is a perpetual problem, even at special schools. According to Adonis, between 18,000 and 21,000 learners come to the Western Cape annually, before the admission process begins for the academic year.

So for 2022, they [learners] would come in January 2022. So that causes an influx. And currently, we have a shortage of schools.

Yasierah Adonis, Naptosa Western Cape provincial chairperson

Adonis said data over time shows there's been an annual increase in the numbers of new learners entering the province. When these concerns are raised with authorities, unions are told that financial challenges are to blame for the education department's placement problem.

The [WCED] Deputy Director-General, Salie Abrahams, has now received R2 billion to look at 1,000 classrooms and space for 40,000 learners. So that's the best the department can give to us at this time.

Yasierah Adonis, Naptosa Western Cape provincial chairperson

Adonis said the department had been slow in the construction of new schools and were now erecting pre-fabricated classrooms as an interim measure.

She's questioned the current admission's policy, given the pressure on parents in the current context.

As a parent, I applied for five schools for grade 8 and every school was oversubscribed. Do we send my son to a school outside of where we reside? There's transport costs and safety measures you need to consider. The education department must look at what is happening to the learners that need to access the curriculum. Parents have no clue as to what do if their child doesn't get in a school. Where do they go?

Yasierah Adonis, Naptosa Western Cape provincial chairperson

Scroll up for the interview.

More in Multimedia