Extremely late applications continue to be submitted 6 weeks into the school year
Statement by Minister David Maynier, Minister of Education Western Cape
The Western Cape Education Department has been hard at work since before schools reopened to complete infrastructure for new learners in 2023, and to find places for all the new applicants we are receiving daily.
We have delivered 721 of the 842 classrooms scheduled to be completed by 31 March 2023.
The remaining classrooms are on track for delivery by the scheduled deadline.
We thank our officials, government partners, contractors, communities, and schools for their hard work and cooperation to achieve this important task.
Over and above the unprecedented 842 classrooms we committed to, we are deploying additional mobile classrooms to areas where the need for placement is greatest, and to cope with the challenge that extremely late applications pose.
Admissions update as of 24 February 2023
As of 24 February 2023, we have resolved 121 806, or 99.6%, of the unique Grade 1 and Grade 8 placement applications for the 2023 school year, and are in the process of placing 487, or 0.4%, of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for the 2023 school year.
It is important to note that the overwhelming majority of the cases where placement is still in progress are new applicants who arrived this year.
Applications fall into three groups:
- Applications received on time before the deadline;
- Late applications received after the deadline but before the end of 2022; and
- Extremely late applications received since the start of this year.
Placement is in progress for just 19 Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for whom applications were received on time. The parents of these learners are either uncontactable or have rejected the offer of placement.
Late applicants (received in 2022):
Placement is in progress for 42 of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for whom applications were received after the deadline for applications passed, but before the end of 2022. The majority of these were received in November and December 2022.
These learners are being prioritised at present. Unfortunately, some of the parents of these learners are also unreachable, even when we have places to offer for their children.
Extremely late applicants (received in 2023):
We have received new, extremely late applications for 4 045 Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners since 1 January 2023 for the 2023 school year, including 926 in the past month.
The challenge with late applications is that we do not know:
- how many late applications we will receive,
- where the extremely late placement will be required,
- the grades, language, and ages of the learners, and
- the specific subjects and specialised needs of the learners.
Placement of learners is therefore not straightforward as it relies on a variety of factors. This has made planning our resource allocation in advance extremely difficult.
Despite this, we have already placed 3 619, or 89.5%, of the Grade 1 and 8 learners for whom extremely late applications were received after 1 January 2023, as a result of forward planning and contingency resources being made available.
Placement is in progress for 426 of the Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for whom extremely late applications were received after 1 January 2023. Of these, 180 were received since 1 February 2023, and additional applications are arriving daily.
At any given time of the year, we will always have a number of learners whose placement is in progress, because learners do move around the province and country throughout the year.
We ask for patience as we make progress in placing these extremely late applicants.
Our officials and schools have done a phenomenal job under extreme pressure to make sure that they find a place for every child. We are leaving no stone unturned in our effort to place every learner, and we will continue to work to finalise placement for all remaining learners.
We understand that the placement process can cause frustration for parents, and we ask for their patience and assure them that we are doing everything we can to ensure their children’s placement is finalised as soon as possible.
Spokesperson to Minister David Maynier
Western Cape Ministry of Education