Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

14 April, 2011

Schools start registering learners for 2012

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

At the start of every year, the vast majority of learners arrive at school ready for their first day of their school career.

However, there is always a minority of parents who gather outside school gates looking to find places for their children in schools. Only a small minority of these parents have legitimate reasons for late application. ie. They have recently moved provinces or areas, or face various real challenges. Many others have simply left it to the last minute.

This places a massive amount of pressure on our officials and distracts our schools from their task at hand - which is teaching and learning.

A priority for this government is the protection of teaching and learning time. However, if we want to ensure that quality teaching and learning starts on the very first day of the new school year, we need to mimimise the effects of late enrolment at schools.

Therefore, it is essential that parents and caregivers register their children well before the end of the year. At the beginning of the first school term we find parents who failed to enrol their children (excluding those that have legitimate reasons) complaining to our officials and the media that they cannot find places in schools. This is often simply their own fault. They must take responsibility for their children by making the effort to enrol their children now.

Registration for learners who are entering Grade 1 or 8, or are changing schools in 2012, has already begun in the Western Cape. In terms of WCED policy, schools had to be ready by the first school day in April to receive applications for 2012.

Parents and caregivers are responsible for registering their children for school and need to provide the following documents when submitting their applications:

  1. The child’s birth certificate (baptismal certificates are not regarded as proof of birth date).
  2. Immunisation card
  3. Transfer card or the last report card for learners who have already been to school.

The closing date for the first round of applications is Friday, 3 June. Schools will then start accepting the second and final round of applications on 25 July. The closing date for the second round of applications is 30 September.

Parents must be aware that many schools have waiting lists, and they must not assume that they will find places at their first schools of choice or that their children have places once they have submitted their application forms.

We suggest that parents apply to more than one school, to avoid anxiety and disappointment later this year.

Parents should not wait until the third term to apply for the first time.

The WCED and our schools want to be prepared and ready for the year ahead, therefore, we need to know how many children will be enrolled in our schools so that we can complete our plans for 2012 as soon as possible. When allocating furniture, stationery, learner support and materials, these plans depend on knowing how many learners will be in every school in 2012 well before the end of this year.

We urge parents to work with schools and enroll their children as soon as possible and we encourage the media to promote this message.

Every hour of every teaching day is important if we are to improve learner outcomes in this province. With the help of all concerned, we can ensure that we achieve a smooth start to 2012.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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