Back to school 2019: Overcrowding in schools still a major problem

On Wednesday, MEC of Education in Gauteng Panyaza Lesufi opened a new paperless school in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni.

Menzi Primary School was recently constructed. This, after pupils, had been forced to use zinc shelters and other temporary structures as classrooms since the early 1990s.

EWN reporter Thando Kubheka says parents and learners were excited as the MEC officially opened their new school.

She says the school is worth over R100 million with 33 smart classrooms, two science labs, and two computer labs as well as a nutritional centre.

Many parents hope their children will kickstart the 2019 school year in a new schooling environment.

Thando Kubheka, EWN reporter

MEC Lesufi raised concerns with a number of parents who are coming forward to register their children for the first time. He says the department received 7000 new applications yesterday alone.

Thando Kubheka, EWN reporter

Lesufi also mentioned that the department managed to place 11 000 learners on Tuesday from the 24 000 that were outstanding.

He made promises to place every child who has applied by the end of January.

In the Western Cape, 1.1 million learners reported for their first day of school, of which 108 000 were Grade Ones and 83 000 are starting Grade 8.

This is according to EWN reporter Shamiela Fischer.

The Western Cape Education Department has urged parents whose children have not yet enrolled in school to go to the nearest district office.

Shamiela Fisher, EWN reporter

The department also mentioned that five new schools are opening to alleviate the pressures from some of the schools in the province.

Shamiela Fisher, EWN reporter

Fisher visited a primary school in Bishop Lavis where parents were protesting outside the school's premises and the principal said they have issues of overcrowding at the school, staff shortages and safety concerns.

The principal mentioned that the school accommodates 72 learners in a classroom that's supposed to accommodate 30 children.

Thembi Mahlati, Paralegal at Section 27 says the issue of overcrowding in schools will take a while before it can bed fully dealt with

To hear the rest of the conversations on first of school, listen below:


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