Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has committed to ensuring that learners who have not been placed are assisted before the end of January.
This as schools in inland provinces reopen for the new academic year.
Lesufi says he is aware that some learners are still at home.
“I want to assure parents that the 700 [learners] that we need to place as a department, we are putting a firm commitment that we will place them before the end of January. By yesterday [Tuesday], the HOD and the team were working extremely hard overnight to conclude this task.”
“It is not lack of planning or lack of schools that we could not place the 700 kids. We have a phenomenon that we call choice and something that is beyond our control … hundreds and hundreds of learners prefer to come to Gauteng to learn,” adds the MEC.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the rotation attendance in the education system is not working.
He was reacting to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s announcement that classes would continue on a rotational basis in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 as learners returned to school.
However, Makhura says it a major disruption of the education system.
“We are deeply concerned. I want to repeat. We are deeply concerned that if we don’t soon get to some measure of normality with regards to bringing back all the learners, many of whom are at home, there will be long-term consequences that will be difficult to bear,” adds Premier Makhura.
Gauteng department of education finalises pupil placement for 2022:
Protesting leaners blockade R104 road
The R104 in Kroondal outside Rustenburg in the North West is currently closed due to a protest by parents and learners of the Tirelong Secondary School.
The school was vandalised over the December holiday and the Department of Education made arrangements that learners be accommodated at other schools.
Parents and learners are however demanding mobile classrooms.
North West police spokesperson Captain Aafje Botma says, “Apparently they are about 200 to 250 learners and it is in connection with school that was closed during the holiday. The learners are now refusing to go to a nearby school. They are currently standing there, some people [officials] of the department [of education] are on their way to speak to them.”
Report on the road closure:
Over 100 unplaced learners turned away from school
In Kgabalatsane, more than 100 learners have been turned away from the Micha-Kgasi Secondary School outside Letlhabile in the North West, after being told that they have not been admitted.
Some parents say they applied for accommodation and admission in August last year.
But they add that the Department of Education failed to process their applications in time.
Now the school no longer has space to accommodate the learners.
A concerned parent Lebogang Rufino says they are calling on government to urgently resolve the matter and allow learners to go to school.
Earlier, Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane opened the multi million rand Aerorand Primary School in Middelburg.
The school has enrolled over 500 learners on the first day of school.
Mtsweni-Tsipane has urged the community to look after the school.
She and education MEC are expected to visit other schools in the Highveld to access if all COVID-19 regulations are being observed.
Update from Portia Shabangu Secondary School in Mpumalanga: