Long queues for grade 1 and 8 spots

posted by / Friday, 23 January 2015 / Published in Literacy: Articles of interest, News


By: Ilse Fredericks


Cape Town – Pressure is mounting on schools with some parents, many of whom are enrolling their children late, queuing for places in mainly grades 1 and 8. The schools open on Wednesday.

Teachers in some areas of Kraaifontein started the school year on Monday helping long queues of parents who had not enrolled their children last year. They included parents who had just moved to the area.

The Mitchells Plain Education Forum, who mentioned last February that about 900 children were still looking for places for the 2014 school year, said the situation was expected to be worse this year.

Forum chairwoman Colleen Horswell said a housing development near the Westgate Mall meant more children were likely to look for places in the area.

“We are anticipating that there is going to be a problem.”

Makhosini Maci, principal of Bloekombos Secondary in Kraaifontein, said there had been “very long queues” at the school on Monday, mostly for Grade 8 places.

The school received the award for excellence in isiXhosa home language at the 2014 provincial National Senior Certificate awards ceremony held at Leeuwenhof last week.

He said the school was able to accommodate the pupils, adding that they had missed out on an orientation programme, which the others, who had enrolled last year, had completed.

One parent had also informed him that his child would return to school only later in the month.

The principal of a Wallacedene school, who didn’t want to be named, said her school was already full but parents arrived on Monday looking for Grade 1 places.

More than 20 parents had arrived on Monday and more were expected later in the week.

“We are filled to capacity. I had to refer them to other primary schools.”

Wallacedene resident Nora Tafafene, who has for the past few years been helping children in the area to find places, said a group of women called Women of Wallacedene would be running a back-to-school campaign in the area from Thursday to help children who had not enrolled yet.

Many children, who had left the province during the holidays, will only return to school after their parents get paid at the end of this month.

Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said late enrolments were expected every year.

The department had not yet received any feedback from education districts on enrolments.

“We will be able to give more feedback on this when schools open on Wednesday (tomorrow).”

Last year the provincial education ministry disputed the Mitchells Plain Education Forum’s claim that 900 children were looking for places in the area, and said about 300 pupils in the metro south education district, which incorporates Mitchells Plain, still needed places.

On Monday Shelver said: “We have not been given any indication of additional pressure at Mitchells Plain schools. We will however know more once schools open.”

Mobile classrooms were available to accommodate unexpected growth in areas such as Mitchells Plain.

Shelver said all pupils would be accommodated, but not always at the school of their choice. Officials would be available in each district for enrolment queries.


Link: IOL