The Gauteng Department of Education will introduce Afrikaans and English as a language of instruction in township schools in an effort to place learners for whom there is no place in other schools.
Department spokesman Steve Mabona says they have already placed 94% of applicants at schools, but have still drawn up plans in an effort to accommodate displaced learners.
MEC Panyaza Lesufi said earlier in a tweet that the department was “pushing” schools to increase classes to accommodate displaced students by November 30.
“We plead with parents to accept the places they have been offered or to immediately object so that we can offer the available places to other learners.” He emphasized that each learner would get a placement at a school.
Mabona says the department has identified some schools where mobile classrooms will be set up.
“We also join forces with independent schools to work with parents, pupils from public schools.
“We are going to offer Afrikaans and English in township schools where there are still places available so that learners can be placed there. The schools in question will be assisted by the appointment of qualified teachers who can teach the subjects.
“The department is also in the process of merging single medium schools, where there are not as many enrolled learners so that English medium schools can be established in areas where there is high demand.”
On Tuesday, the department had already placed 267,611 (94.63%), applicants. The remaining 14 617 applicants are yet to receive offers that must be finalized by November 30.
The department received a total of 310,250 applications through its online application process, which was in effect between May 20 and July 22. Of these, 27 563 applicants did not submit all the required documents, while 282 787 applicants submitted the required documents.
“We are undoubtedly working very hard to ensure that schools increase their classroom capacity to accommodate more pupils by November 30.”
Lesufi says parents should therefore immediately accept or reject the applications if they are not suitable.
“Others should be given the opportunity to take those places. We will ensure that every pupil gets a place in a school. ”
Parents must submit their objections to the district offices. If its outcome is also unacceptable, they can appeal.
Meanwhile, AfriForum said it will embark on a comprehensive campaign to demand Lesufi’s dismissal of Prime Minister David Makhura.
This comes after AfriForum was flooded with requests from parents who had had enough of the MEC’s clay rapping with the placement process and many other concerns about his behavior.
Carien Bloem, director of education at AfriForum, says Lesufi’s announcement does not offer “meaningful, sustainable solutions” to the problem “and thus he does not accept responsibility for the failure of the online system”.
“The MEC believes that schools should merge to create full English schools. However, the matter is not that simple and will not solve the problem of too few schools in Gauteng in time, ”Bloem says.
“The online application system and school placements are one of the main issues that will be addressed in AfriForum’s campaign, but are not the only issue at all.”
The other charges against Lesufi are his refusal to act against the ongoing interference of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadou) at public schools; his repeated disdainful statements about Afrikaans and Afrikaans as a language of instruction; his racist statements that polarize communities in the country; as well as alleged misappropriation and corruption taking place in the education department.