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Tag: Primary School

300,000 School Dropouts due to COVID

It is estimated that nearly 300,000 pupils may have dropped out of primary schools across SA over a six-month period during the lockdown.  Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga confirmed this in response to questions in the National Assembly by DA MP Nomsa Tarabella-Marchesi.

KwaZulu-Natal had the highest number of dropouts at 126,553, followed by the Western Cape with 114,588, Gauteng with 55,571, the Northern Cape with 10,290 and Eastern Cape with 8,153.  It’s believed that 5,482 pupils may have dropped out in the Free State and 4,390 in Mpumalanga. The least affected provinces were Limpopo with 800 and North West with only 370.

Minister Motshekga said there were several methods used to encourage parents to return their children to schools.  “Parents are contacted through WhatsApp groups. On the third day of non-attendance,  letters are written to parents. Teachers also make house visits. Non-attendance by learners is discussed at district command council meetings and circuit management centres are encouraged to communicate with municipalities,” she said.

“[We] encourage parents to send absent learners to school. Through telephone calls, SMSs, local radio stations and home visits, dates for returning of respective grades are timeously communicated to parents and learners. A demerit system is used on learners who are absent without valid reasons.”

The department, in conjunction with the health department, on November 4 agreed to allow pupils who tested positive for Covid-19 to write the combined 2020 November examinations under specific conditions and safety protocols.

“The important part is that parents/guardians of candidates who have tested positive for Covid-19 are obliged to inform the school principal immediately of the positive status of the candidate. This is to ensure that arrangements can be made for the candidate to write the examination at an isolation venue that complies with the health, safety and also regulations relating to a secure examination,” said the minister.

News – Schools in Gauteng can’t cope with demand for 2021

Panyaza Lesufi, the Gauteng MEC for Education, said on Sunday that Gauteng schools are already filled to capacity for 2021.  Parents will only have 7 school days to accept placement in a school, after which they will lose their spot to the next applicant on the list.    Schools will have until the end of November to confirm placement of grade 1’s and 8’s.  During this time schools will be accepting students based on its capacity.  Once a school reaches its capacity, it will be removed from the list of available schools and no further students will be placed there.  Students who are not placed at their preferred school will receive offers for placement at other schools, provided the schools have open space.  Parents can expect to receive notification from more than one school for placement.  Should parents confirm one of the two option, the other will no longer be available should they change their minds.

Challenge lies ahead for Department of Education to find place for learners

According to Lesufi, schools in Gauteng can accommodate 373,634 new learners, but have already received 409,770 applications.  Parents were only allowed to apply at 5 schools of their choice.   The department of Education published a list of the most popular schools for 2021.

Most popular schools for 2021

School

Applications Received

Capacity

PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Laerskool Akasia

1515

182

Laerskool Theresapark

1237

190

Laerskool Rachel De Beer

1073

240

Selcourt Primary School

884

120

Laerskool Silverton

830

180

Alston Primary School

830

220

Alberview Primary

771

140

Hamilton Primary

762

90

Freeway Park Primary

761

180

Laerskool Danie Malan

755

154

HIGH SCHOOLS

Alberton High School

2376

210

Hoërskool Langenhoven

2040

280

Sir John Adamson High

2025

280

Boksburg High School

2000

285

Hoërskool Akasia

1870

210

Hoërskool President

1860

270

Northcliff High School

1783

300

Mondeor High School

1760

310

Phumlani Secondary School

1685

300

Hoërskool Gerrit Maritz

1682

210

The department is still expecting there to be a rush of late applications which will exacerbate the problem with over-population of schools.

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