Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says learners who dropped out of school this year will have to repeat the grade.

Gauteng has recorded an 18% school dropout rate this year with the highest impact being in Grade R.

This has been blamed on the effects of the coronavirus. Lesufi has urged parents to ensure that their children attend school.

“We are going to have an unprecedented number of drop outs this year and that is worrying. We don’t have pass one pass all and we can’t encourage that. If people have dropped out they will have to come back. If they come back they will have to repeat the grade. If means the are some grades where we will have to expand the classes because we will have additional numbers. And that is why we are urging parents that please ensure you children come back so that we don’t have this problem next year,” Lesufi says.

The MEC’s full briefing is in the video below:

Lesufi says matric examinations will start on the 5th of November and will run through to the 15th of December. Marking will take place from the 14th to the 22nd of January next year.

Lesufi was briefing the media on the grade 1 and Grade 8 applications for next year, as well as the matric examination schedule late due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown.

Matriculants will be writing along with those writing supplementary examinations from last year, as well as adults who want to write their matric.

He said in order to adhere to social distancing the department has approached various other venues and employed around 12 000 invigilators.

Lesufi says they have received more applications than the space available in the province for Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners.

Lesufi says some parents have applied for placement without providing any of the relevant documentation needed to place their child.

He says in order to sift through the applications there will be four main criteria, including learners in the feeder area of the school and the nature of the school.

He added that once parents are sent an sms they have seven days to accept or reject the offer.