MEC promises to accommodate unplaced learners by end of month

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MEC promises to accommodate unplaced learners by end of month

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\n Ernest Mabuza | 2017-01-17 18:43:53.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n

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\n \n \n \n An empty classroom. File photo.\n \n \n \n
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock\n \n \n \n

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\n Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schafer has promised to accommodate 7‚900 unplaced learners in schools by the end of the month.\n

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She also agreed to report to the South African Human Rights Commission on a weekly basis on progress made to accommodate the learners.

She made this undertaking on Tuesday when she met commissioners Andre Gaum and Chris Nissen.

Schafer said the number of unaccommodated learners in the province had now been reduced from more than 18‚000 to 7‚900 learners.

The commissioners met Schafer following a complaint received from a member of the Mfuleni community‚ 40 km from Cape Town‚ about learners who had not been accommodated in schools.

The complaint lodged with the commission indicated that more than 2‚000 learners were not being accommodated in the Mfuleni area.

Based on the complaint‚ Nissen conducted a site inspection and found that the number had been reduced to 773.

The commissioners were also concerned by media reports that thousands of learners had not yet been accommodated in other schools in the province.

In a statement‚ the commission said its Western Cape office would monitor‚ on a weekly basis‚ progress being made to accommodate unplaced learners in schools.

The commission said although progress had been made in accommodating learners in schools‚ it was concerned about the effect this would have on the learner/teacher ratio.

It said in some instances‚ this ratio had reached 45 learners: 1 teacher.

“This is of concern to the commission‚ as it has a direct impact on the quality of education received by learners‚” the commission said.

It said the right to basic education went beyond the right to access to basic education and included the right to quality education.

“In pursuit of its mandate‚ the SAHRC intends monitoring the learner/teacher ratio in schools.”

The commission also appealed to parents to ensure they met enrolment deadlines and that they endeavour to get their children accommodated in existing spaces in schools‚ even when these schools might not be their first preference.

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