The new online application system, on which parents could apply for admission for their children between May 13 and July 22, had previously worried many organizations and unions as it left no space in which to indicate applicants’ mother tongue. Furthermore, anarchy is once again threatening at certain Afrikaans schools in the Gauteng province after the Department of Education does not comply with its own requirements for the enrolment of Gr. 1- and gr. 8 pupils in 2020.
Great dissatisfaction prevails in the province after schools on Friday received lists of learners enrolled at schools, especially schools located in the north of Pretoria. The governing body of some accuses the Department of Education of not adhering to agreements on admission policy at schools. According to legal and management consultant Marius Botha, an agreement was reached earlier this year to stop the interdict against the Education Department, on the condition that mother tongue will be a factor in admission. According to the lists, the department seems to have taken into consideration only the applicant’s residential address and school. Botha says the department used GPS coordinates to determine the distance between school and home. In some cases, the calculation is incorrect.
According to reports from Network 24, Johan Kruger, chair of the governing body of Montana High School in northern Pretoria, said on Monday that they saw the lists and it is very clear the department did not apply its own regulations.
“They went to see if a child applied for how far the child is from the school in question and did the posts accordingly.
“Unfortunately, it is fraught with mistakes. Children who live less than a mile from the school were not placed. In one case, a child living 26 km from the school was placed. ”
Kruger says it’s not the final lists yet and the department can still adjust it. “However, I have no confidence that this will happen.”
Martie Engelbrecht, chair of the board of directors of Danie Malan Primary School, also in Pretoria North, says the department’s calculation of the distances of the school is incorrect.
For example, children who would stay closer to school in terms of the lists are not on the list. Children who stay 10 km from the school are included.
“Our chronological list was by no means taken into account. Nor does our language policy, gr. R pupils who are already in school and no brothers or sisters.
“On the department’s list for our school there are also 25 pupils who were not even on our original chronological list at all.”
She says the school will consult lawyers tomorrow with a view to taking legal action.
“Danie Malan Primary School is one of the last Afrikaans schools in Pretoria North. There are many English schools around us. We feel there should be an Afrikaans school for the (Afrikaans) children. ”
Steve Mabona, spokesperson for Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng MEC for education, says no unhappiness has been reported to the department. “They understand that places have been allocated in terms of the new amended admission regulations.”
Although the order of applications was not taken into account, the regulations stipulate that pupils will be allowed “closest to the school”. Parents will be informed of their children’s admission from Wednesday, he says.