The DA welcomes the Gauteng Department of Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s decision to open the online application process today to avoid the late placement of learners in schools in the province, following this year’s disastrous experience where approximately 58 000 grades 1 and 8 learners were not secured school placement timeously even though they applied online.
The early opening of the online registration process is a positive move as it will alleviate pressure from parents of queuing at the application centres at the eleventh hour.
It will give schools ample opportunity to plan and allocate the required resources.
The Department must strike a balance between schools facing high enrolment demand and those schools which are standing empty.
The DA calls upon MEC Lesufi to resource the underperforming schools with adequate infrastructure so that they are able to compete on an equal footing with those that have a legacy of excellence.
In so doing, it will reduce overcrowding in schools that are performing well which are preferred by parents and ensure that those schools that are empty are better utilised.
The Department must kick start a campaign to make parents aware of the online registration process so as to reduce the backlog of unplaced learners at the last minute particularly in areas where parents have little access to mainstream media.
We urge parents to register their children as early as possible so that they will have time to prepare for the next academic year.
We believe that the Department has learnt from this year’s disaster and have found ways of improving the system going forward.
We will continue to monitor this process as failure to ensure the timeous placing of grade 1 and 8 leaners will have a negative effect on such learners, which could impact on their educational outcomes.