Schools field late applications ahead of new academic year

North West department of education is still faced with an influx of late applications ahead of the start of the academic year on Wednesday.

Education MEC Viola Motsumi said her team has been on the ground ensuring that schools are ready for effective teaching and learning.

The school readiness monitoring exercise conducted by the department found that while schools are ready, there are still learners that have not been fully registered.

“Late applications persists despite our continuous awareness campaigns. Nevertheless, our schools uphold non-discriminatory admission policies,” said Motsumi.

“Every child, regardless of documentation status, deserves an equal right to education.

“We want to guarantee a smooth start to the academic year, and our extensive school readiness monitoring efforts demonstrate our commitment to quality education for all.”

She said the department is tirelessly working on addressing the challenges faced with urgency.

Proper documentation

Mphata Molokwane, spokesperson for the department, backed the MEC emphasising that learners and parents should reach out to the department concerning documentation matters.

He said the department is not willing to see a “future leader” being deprived of education only because of their documentation status.

“Documentation status is one of the issues that leads to late applications. We motivate parents of such children to come forth and explain their situation to the department.

“The department can then work with Home Affairs to find the best possible solution to the matter, allowing at least one more child a chance to attend school,” said Molokwane.

Classes ready to start

He said a large number of students are fully equipped to kick off the syllabus when the academic year gets under way.

In an effort to better education in the province, the department opened doors to Sarafina Secondary School in Ikageng, Potchefstroom on Sunday.

The school will only admit grade 8 and 9 learners in its first academic year, including grade 9 cohort who were platooning at Ditaelong Secondary School.

“We are thrilled to see Sarafina Secondary School finally come to life. This project has faced numerous challenges, but through collaboration and unwavering commitment, we have reached this pivotal moment,” said Motsumi.

“The opening of this school is not just about bricks and mortar, it is about providing our children with a safe, modern, and inspiring learning environment.”

School governing body chairperson Maleshane Seitshiro said learners are faced with overcrowding at neighboring schools, noting that the new school will allow effective teaching and learning as teachers will have full view and attention of all learners in class.

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