Gauteng ready for 2017 academic year

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pretoria - Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the province is ready for the 2017 academic year.

MEC Lesufi on Wednesday released the State of Readiness for the 2017 Academic Year Report in Johannesburg.

The department has pro-actively monitored public schools on a quarterly basis to ensure that all institutions are ready for the 2017 academic year.

MEC Lesufi thanked the parents who used the online system to apply for admission of their children in schools next year. The department had requested schools, district offices, Thusanong Centres and community libraries to help parents who do not have access to the internet.

The department plans to continue with online applications in 2017 for applications for grade 1 and 8, with respect to the 2018 academic year. Important lessons were recorded with the 2016 experience and the system will be refined to incorporate these lessons, said MEC Lesufi.

The department received 310 404 applications online.  At least 176 348 are for grade 1 and 136 056 are for grade 8. There were 233 408 applications received by the initial 1 June deadline. A total of 130 911 applications were for grade 1 and 102 497 for grade 8.

A total of 78 996 applications were received after 1 June 2016, of which 45 437 applications were for grade 1 and 33 559 for grade 8.

As of 5 December, 229 125 learners were placed in Gauteng schools (both early and late applications) - of which 131 304 are grade 1 placements and 97 821 are grade 8.

MEC Lesufi said 82 279 learners are still not placed, but the department will work around the clock to place all these learners and inform the parents.

At least 8 846 parents have not yet submitted the required documents to schools where they have applied and 10 403 of parents have not yet confirmed offers of placement.

There are currently more than 2.3 million learners enrolled in Gauteng schools, which shows an increase of 105 945 learners recorded between 2015 and 2016.

“This represents an increase of 4.47%. Rapid in-migration remains a contributing factor to the growth in learner numbers. The highest numbers of learners come from Limpopo, followed by the Eastern Cape,” said MEC Lesufi.

Schools that are full

A number of schools in parts of the province have reached their capacity and will not be able to accept any more learners. These include:

•           Ekurhuleni North: Boksburg, Kempton Park, Tembisa and Benoni

•           Ekurhuleni South: Palm Ridge, Eden Park, Brackenhurst, Brackendowns, Alberton, Germiston, and Boksburg

•           Gauteng North: Cullinan and Klipdrift

•           Gauteng West:  Krugersdorp

•           Johannesburg Central: Southern Corridor and Freedom Park

•           Johannesburg East: Bryanston, Midrand, Halfway House

•           Johannesburg South: Glenanda, Lenasia and Mulbarton

•           Johannesburg West: Hendrik Potgieter Belt, Tshepisong, Braamfischerville, Florida, Dobsonville

•           Tshwane South: Pretoria East

•           Tshwane West: Soshanguve South, Pretoria North and Winterveldt East

Grade 1 and 8 applications for 2017 are closed.

MEC Lesufi urged those who have applied and have not yet received offers of placement to visit the admissions website on www.gdeadmissions.gov.za or to visit district offices to enquire about the status of their applications.

“The pressure for additional spaces to accommodate the unplaced learners translates into demand for infrastructural provisioning.

“The department is preparing to deliver eight new brick and mortar schools, 12 new alternative construction technology (ACT) schools, 603 additional ACT classrooms (ordinary and special education needs ), 314 grade R classrooms and 160 toilet blocks in 2017 to address the pressure.

“Seventy four ACT classrooms were relocated to schools in high admission pressure areas to alleviate current overcrowding. Of the new infrastructure, eight new brick and mortar schools are scheduled to open in January 2017,” said MEC Lesufi.

Feeder zone policy

MEC Lesufi said the department recorded a significant victory in the Constitutional Court, which confirms its role and power when it comes to issues of admission.

The court ruled that the department must rework the feeder zone policy and declare new feeder zones, thus scrapping the transitional 5km radius policy.

“A task team has been working to develop options for a future feeder zone policy. A consultative workshop with stakeholders will be convened early 2017.

“It is anticipated that this process might require legislative amendments. The department still intends to comply with the ruling of the Constitutional Court,” said MEC Lesufi.

Learning material delivery on track

MEC Lesufi said learning and teaching support material (LTSM), worth R686 million, was ordered for section 21 schools. Eighty three percent of the order has been delivered overall in Gauteng.

“There are variations across districts, with the lowest delivery at 32% and highest delivery at 100%,” the MEC said.

Delivery for grade 11 and 12 Literature textbooks is at 100%. Delivery of stationary (including to new schools) is at 100%. Delivery of textbooks to new schools is in progress, and delivery to schools in high risk areas is being withheld until January 2017 for security purposes.

Early Childhood Development (ECD) indoor stock is at 75% at the warehouse. Installations on outdoor equipment will be completed by end January 2017.

“Books for technical subjects are being reviewed due to change in the syllabus. Deliveries from publishers are due in January 2017.” - SAnews.gov.za

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