Politics

WC DA blames national govt for high number of unplaced pupils in province

WC DA blames national govt for high number of unplaced pupils in province

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape is blaming national government for the high number of unplaced learners, saying that this was primarily due to the Basic Education's Department's failure to adapt the funding model for schools.

On Tuesday, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) briefed the legislature's Standing Committee on Education.

In February, there were 23,000 pupils who were unplaced. Now it's just over 700, with the department rushing to have everyone placed by the end of the week.

The Western Cape Education Department's Archie Lewis said that officials had made progress in placing thousands of learners over the past few weeks.

Plans to speed up the process included 129 mobile classrooms and two new mobile schools in Mfuleni and Dunoon - this was to be completed in September.

"These learners are destined to be placed in schools by the 7th of May, that's this coming Friday. That's the plan."

The African National Congress (ANC)'s Muhammad Khalid Sayed, who approached the Human Rights Commission and the Public Service Commission over the matter, questioned the department about land for new schools.

"The placing of mobile [classroom] is another ticking time bomb. We're not saying that it shouldn't be happening but in the long term, I just wanted to get a sense of what's happening with the acquisition of land for schools in that Eerste Rivier area."

Those details were not available at the meeting.

The DA's Lorraine Botha said that national government was doing a great disservice to learners as the funds allocated simply did not meet the education needs of the Western Cape.

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