Western Cape Education on placement of 10 000 learners for 2017 first term

WCED places 10 000 learners one week into the new term

I am pleased that our officials have managed to place more than 10 000 learners since the start of the academic year.

Our officials have managed to achieve this by identifying learners that are ‘double-parked’, and by working closely with schools to identify every available place.

The WCED has deployed 119 mobile classrooms capable of accommodating more than 4 000 learners.

Each District has also established a walk-in centre with designated officials responsible for managing admissions.

We currently have 7 900 learners that still need to be placed in the province. While we are under pressure to place these learners, they represent less than 0.8% of our learner population so we are reasonably confident that we can place these learners.

I am however cognisant of the fact that late arrivals could still pose a challenge, in the event that more people come to the Western Cape. It is important to note that often new residents will move into an area without planning in advance or without enrolling their children at a school. There is no way of knowing how many additional learners will require placement, the areas in which they will settle, or their ages and grades. We will need to, at short notice, find accommodation for these learners, as well as arrange the necessary resources they require.

This is unfortunately not an overnight process.

Only once we have determined the areas, ages and grades of the learners, can we find spaces in schools that still have accommodation, order new mobile classrooms and find new sites in which to place them.

Mobiles will then need to be installed, additional teachers deployed, desks and chairs ordered, and additional textbooks ordered and printed. Mobile classrooms cannot be procured and installed overnight. We can also not move these classrooms until such time as we know exactly where they are needed.

These are just some of the challenges we will face in the coming weeks � all with a strained budget and already oversubscribed schools in some areas.

Hotspot areas include suburbs such as Mitchells Plain, Tafelsig, Mandalay, Steenberg, Delft, Mfuleni, Athlone, Lwandle, Strand, Kuils River, Eerste River, Durbanville, Milnerton Corridor, Fish Hoek, Ocean View and Sun Valley.

The WCED will however have a clearer idea of shifts in enrolment after the 10-day Snap survey later in January.

I must take this opportunity to thank our officials, principals and teachers who have worked closely together to identify availalble places and to accommodate additional learners.

Our officials have worked around the clock to get to this point, and will continue to do so until every learner is accommodated.

Source: Government of South Africa