Thousands of school pupils across the country are yet to be placed in schools – despite the reopening of schools taking place tomorrow.
Data provided to the Sunday Times included the following numbers of students yet to be placed in schools in certain provinces:
- Limpopo: 5,061
- Western Cape: 8,336
- Free State: 2,917
- Gauteng: 2,404
Limpopo Education Department spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene said that some schools are “oversubscribed” due to the perception that learners who attend these institutions perform better than at other schools.
This was echoed by Free State Education Department spokesperson Howard Ndaba, who noted that in Bloemfontein there is high demand from black middle-class parents who want their children to attend former Model C schools.
“Our responsibility is to make sure that no child is not at school,” said Ndaba.
“The only thing we cannot guarantee is offering a parent a school of their choice. Parents say I want this school or nothing.”
The reopening of schools is set to take place tomorrow – several weeks after was initially planned.
Due to the second COVID-19 wave, the government postponed the reopening of schools for learners from 27 January until 15 February.
“Given the pressure experienced by the health system in the past few weeks occasioned by the increased COVID-19 infections which has led to the second wave, the Council of Education Ministers (CEM), in conjunction with the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet has taken the decision to delay the reopening of both public and private schools by two weeks,” said Deputy Minister of Basic Education Reginah Mhaule last month.
“The CEM took this difficult decision having considered all factors as backed up by research and statistics regarding the current state of the health system. The priority remains saving lives.”
The amended schedule for reopening schools is as follows:
- School management teams (SMTs) shall report for duty on Monday 25 January 2021.
- Teachers will follow on Monday 1 February 2021.
- Learners will return on Monday 15 February 2021.
Private schools were allowed to reopen sooner in accordance with their own schedules.
Matric results are set to be released on schedule following the early conclusion of matric final paper marking.
Last month, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) confirmed that markers had finished grading papers with time to spare.
Independent Examination Board (IEB) results will be made available on Friday 19 February while the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results will be published on Tuesday 23 February.
Alternatively, NSC writers can SMS their unique exam number to 45856 or dial 12045856# – where  is replaced by their exam number.