It’s one day before the start of the 2017 school term in Gauteng, and close to 58 000 learners are yet to be placed in a school.
According to News24 and Maroela Media, the Gauteng Department of Basic Education’s spokesperson, Oupa Bodibe, has said that many applications are still being processed despite the fact that learners have had the opportunity to apply since last year.
According to Bodibe, most of the late applications will only be processed now, as the system was not running during the December recess. This entails that these learners will only be able to start going to school in March of this year, missing close to a quarter of the academic year.
So far, around 130 000 grade one learners have been placed in primary schools across the province, and around 100 000 grade eights will start their high school careers on Wednesday.
The Department has placed blame on the parents of many of the learners who applied late for the 2017 intake. It does, however, remain alarming that it took the Department until January to realise that nearly a sixth of its 300 000 learners were yet to have applied.
This comes after the Department in charge of basic education in Gauteng started with their online application system and procedure in 2016. It is unfortunate that parents and learners are not the final decision makers regarding the education of the learners in a system where they are at the mercy of government bureaucrats.
Calls to revisit a school voucher system are sure to grow after another predicament in the education sector that is run by the state.