The Department of Basic Education has warned that parents who have not secured school placement for their children will struggle when the academic year starts next week.
Learners in inland provinces will return to the classroom on Wednesday next week while learners in coastal provinces will return a week later.
Department spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, says last-minute placements remain their biggest challenge at the start of the school year.
“What has been the challenge is that, at the beginning of every year, you have 20 000 or 30 000 new children who come without having applied before. That creates a problem in the system and the provinces are not able to handle that. Admission begins much earlier in the year to make sure that parents have enough time to gather documents. Some parents decline the schools that are offered to them particularly in Gauteng where we have a huge challenge with space.”
Department of Basic Education announces a “staggered” calendar for school opening dates for 2022:
Mhlanga also encouraged learners aged 12 and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the Health Department, children do not require their parents’ consent to get vaccinated.
Mhlanga says they will work with the Health Department to increase the vaccination rate among learners.
“We need as many of our pupils to get the vaccination because that is going to help us to stabilise the system. We are happy that our staff and educators got their jabs. Now we are focussing on the learners, 12-17 years old and above can get their jabs. About 1 million have already been done but we have about 12 million in the system. We hope that there will be some movement in that regard to help us stabilise the status quo so we can go back to normal.”