By Minister Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Minister of Education:
The December summer holidays are less than one month away. Schools will close their doors on the 10th December 2015 so that our educators and school staff can go on a much deserved break.
Teachers will return to school on the 11th January 2016, whilst learners will return on Wednesday 13th January 2016. Educators start the school year a little earlier so that they can address any last minute administration matters before getting off to an effective start by Wednesday.
Between this period, (10th December 2015 – 13th January 2015) the WCED will be unable to confirm with schools, the progress of an application for the registration of a learner.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to make an urgent and final appeal to parents to enroll their child before the end of the 2015 school year. This can be done by contacting their nearest district office for assistance. It is extremely important for parents to enquire about enrolling their child within the next month.
Their lack of action in this regard will result in their child losing valuable learning and teaching time at the start of the 2016 academic year.
The school population in the Western Cape is growing rapidly year-by-year and I am concerned at the number of parents who have, in the last couple of months, moved to the Western Cape from provinces such as Gauteng and KZN and who, on arrival, demand places in schools of choice for their children. This is simply not possible at this late time of the school year.
The responsible way to go about your relocation would be to apply at schools before moving to other provinces. Schools of choice were full as early as May of this year.
The WCED has an obligation to assist all parents with placement of their children. This however does not mean that we guarantee a place in a school of choice, even if these schools are the closest to your new home.
Those parents who fail to enroll learners on time place a massive burden on our officials at the start of the school year.
In addition, this disrupts teaching and learning time for their own children, and we call on the public to work with us so that we can prevent undue disruptions.