16 January 2012
Thirty-six new schools will be opened in South Africa’s Gauteng province during this year’s first term, with 13 of these expected to be ready for occupation when inland province schools open on Wednesday.
Briefing the media in Olievenhoutbosch, near Centurion, on the province’s readiness for the reopening of schools this week, Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy said it was all systems go for the start of the new academic year.
She said the new schools would not only help with the accommodation of new learners coming to the province, but that they would also ease the pressure in some of the overcrowded schools. Plans to beef up teaching staff are well underway.
“In August last year, we distributed the vacancy list for teaching posts in our schools and all vacancies were filled. We have approved 500 additional posts for the new schools,” Creecy said.
To ensure that learning and teaching start on the first day of school, Creecy said orders for Learner Teacher Support Material were placed by school principals and officials in May last year.
“Admissions started on 1 August 2011 and this year, we anticipate 209 000 Grade 1 learners will begin their schooling career. We are also registering 110 000 learners in state supported Grade R facilities,” she said.
Parents who are still seeking space in schools have been advised to go to their nearest district offices where the department has set up operation centres. District officials will advise parents on the capacity of schools and help to place learners.
Late applications will be handled at the special operation centres established at head office and district offices to allow principals to manage the curriculum in schools from the first day of schooling.
The department also conducted an audit of furniture needs at all districts last year and a list of schools with shortages and damaged furniture was generated.
“We’ve placed orders and deliveries are currently underway. We have also procured furniture for the new schools and started maintenance work at 69 schools in May 2011. Currently, work is in progress at 42 sites,” she said.