Gauteng Department of Education ready for 2019 academic year

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JOHANNESBURG, January 8 – Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) said on Tuesday that they were ready for the start of the 2019 academic year despite late applications.

“We are experiencing a high number at our district offices of new people applying for the first time,” said Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi during a media briefing at the GDE offices in Johannesburg.

Lesufi said the department had received 24,000 late applications, while 8090 of those late learners were placed and around 16,000 still had not been placed due to parents not responding to offers and outstanding documentation.

He said it was impossible for the department to place children whose parents were at the district offices this week. Lesufi said it was impossible for these late applicants to find a place and be class when schools open on Wednesday.

The MEC said there were almost 300,000 applications of learners who applied online for the 2019 academic year and around 266,000 were placed on time.

“If you appeal that you don’t want a school we will remove your child and give it to another child who needs it. We can’t compromise the quality of education and have full classes.”

On 28 November 2018, the department opened the late applications and only 1,068 schools still had space and 945 schools became full immediately and reached their capacity.

The MEC said there were around 800 schools in various townships that still had space for learners and that parents could do walk-in applications at their local district offices as the online application site had closed Monday night.

Lesufi said three new schools would be opened on Wednesday.

“We are convinced that our schools will resume schooling tomorrow,” said the education MEC.

– African News Agency (ANA)