The MEC for Education, Ishmael Kgetjepe has called upon all parents and guardians to register learners at schools for the 2016 academic year.
Applications for enrolment already opened on 20 July. Polokwane Observer found parents, eager to enrol their children at the schools of their choice queuing at schools as from as early as Sunday. At Laerskool Pietersburg-Oos some parents took turns to queue from 23:00 on Sunday. Persons hoping to enrol their children at Pietersburg English Medium Primary School made huge fires on the pavement to warm themselves at on Sunday night.
This year, as with the previous years and judged by the queues observed, promises again to be a case of many more learners wanting to enrol at schools in Polokwane than those that could be admitted. The Department of Education announced at the beginning of the year that a new school was planned for the Bendor area but in response to recent enquiries Dr Naledzani Rasila, Senior Communications Manager at the department said construction of the school will only start in 2016. This in spite thereof that thousands of learners were turned away from schools in the city the previous years.
The registration process, meant for learners starting their schooling or relocating in public schools, closes on 2 October 2015. This registration is open to all learners from Grade R to Grade 12. Parents are advised to register their kids in schools close to where they stay.
When registering learners, parents are expected to produce among others birth certificates, immunisation cards, transfer cards or letters and the last school report. Learners who are not South Africans citizens are expected to produce a study permit, temporary or permanent residential permit from the Department of Home Affairs and evidence that they have applied for a permit to stay in the country.
In case of forms to be completed, parents are advised to return the forms before 2 October this year. Schools are expected to comply with the policy and refrain from charging any admission fee as this is outlawed, according to Rasila. “Schools are also warned against administering tests for the sake of admission as this too is illegal,” he said.
“Some schools may charge school fees except for the No Fee Schools (Those in quintiles 1 to 3) and parents and guardians would be expected to pay. Parents who cannot afford to pay full or part of the fees still have to register their kids and apply for the exemption from payment. Schools will assist in providing more information on how to apply. As for learners who failed Grade 12 the previous years, it needs to be noted that it is permitted for them to repeat the class twice (i.e. they can do grade 12 three times).”
Rasila said learners to be admitted to Grade R are expected to be at least four years old and to turn five before the end of June 2016. For Grade one, learners have to be five years old and be turning six by the end of June 2016.
“We urge all parents not to wait for the last day and inconvenience learners by going up and down when others are already in class, ” parents were warned.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS