Learners were denied access to education as GDE misled the public over 100% of learner placement

Issued by Khume Ramulifho MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education
01 Feb 2023 in Press Statements

Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has misled the public by stating that all learners who applied for grades 1 and 8 have been placed.

This information is incorrect because the DA in Gauteng is still inundated with calls, messages and emails from parents who are desperate and uncertain if their children will ever be allocated to schools.

Some parents have opted for independent schools as they cannot sit and wait for the department while their children miss out on quality learning. However, not all parents can afford private and independent schools, so many children are still sitting at home and therefore denied their right to access basic education.

The department claims that all learners in the province have been placed, which means that the learners still waiting to be placed will not be allocated schools.

It is the department’s responsibility to ensure that all children of school-going age are allocated to schools. However, the department failed to utilise the information given by parents when they changed jobs or moved from one residential area to another as a way to plan for the 2023 academic year.

The department’s incompetency and failure to ensure learners’ placement before the new academic year has created unnecessary pressure on parents who prefer sending their children to public schools.

The DA urges the Gauteng MEC for Education, Matome Chiloane, to investigate all applications lodged and verify their placement instead of communicating incorrect information to the public.

The only solution to curb the late placement of learners is to review the online admission process to ensure that it is transparent, open, and fair. Appeals are not attended; they are rejected with a general standard message.

The DA will forward all emails and messages from parents to the department to ensure that these children are placed as a matter of urgency as they miss out on much-needed learning time. In addition, we will continue to monitor the situation and pressure the GDE until this matter is fully resolved.