Number of pupils awaiting placement in Gauteng schools reduced by 20 000

The Gauteng education department has reduced the number of pupils still awaiting placement at schools from 40 000 to 19 913.

Those anxiously waiting to be placed at schools include 7 092 pupils whose parents applied online as well as 12 821 new applications from those visiting admission centres across the province.

The department said in a statement that 304 996 pupils in total had been placed at schools, including 175 827 in grade one and 136 088 in grade eight.

Mail & Guardian established that the Gauteng and Western Cape education departments collectively register about 80 000 pupils from outside their provinces annually.

An influx of more than 20 000 pupils into the Western Cape from other provinces has forced the provincial education department to hold discussions with the national treasury to find a way of funding the increased enrolment.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng education department said on Thursday that it was prioritising the placement of pupils who applied online and that “where there is adequate space, parents that have walked in will be accommodated”.

“The head of department has not declared schools full as districts are still finding spaces where offers of placements were not confirmed and pupils have relocated to new residential areas.”

It said that administrative issues, including schools not updating placement data on time, were behind the delay.

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