2023 School-Readiness & 2022 NSC Results: WCED briefing

Education (WCPP)

10 February 2023
Chairperson: Ms D Baartman (DA)
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Meeting Summary


The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) gave a briefing on several critical areas: The admissions process for the 2023 academic year, the Status of school readiness for the 2023 academic year, and the 2022 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results and the pass rate for the Western Cape.

During its presentation, the Department  said that the overall pass rate had increased from 81.2% in 2021 to 81.4% in 2022. The Department had emphasised that given the turbulent context since 2020, the WCED, with the collective efforts of all officials, learners, parents, stakeholders and parents, had managed an improved pass rate.

Regarding the 2023 admissions, the Department had emphasised its commitment to working with concerned parents to resolve each placement challenge. It had reported significant progress on the Rapid School Build programme (RSB), completing more than 600 classrooms. The WCED system had increased by 17 901 learners annually from 2018-2022. The average growth per year had been reported as 17 901.

Members had expressed concern for the observed discrepancies in school placement, the high number of registered learners who had not written the examinations, and the challenges learners had faced in accessing higher education.   

Members had noted the need for the strong leadership of principals to be critical in the successful implementation of the programmatic interventions of the Department. Members had recommended that the Department of Higher Education and Training be invited to the next Committee meeting to brief on access to higher education.   

Members commended the Department for the concerted efforts to improve quality education through the RSB and the improved number of placements compared to the previous year.

Concerned parents had also been invited to attend the meeting to discuss the challenges their children had faced. In addition to placement challenges, parents had also reported that their children had faced severe challenges of safety and gender-based violence at schools. The Department was committed to addressing the severe challenges of the parents and learners.

The Department had set up a public help desk outside the meeting venue to immediately address queries. The Department had received and captured the placement application information of 68 persons. Out of the 68 persons, ten had been new placement applications, and 58 had been follow-up applications.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed Mr David Maynier, Western Cape Minister of Education, officials from the Department, and concerned parents' representatives. On the NSC results, she highlighted the schools that achieved a 100 percent pass rate and that the Committee submitted congratulations letters to these schools.  

Opening remarks by the Minister

Minister Maynier said that the Department had made significant progress on the Rapid School Build programme (RSB), completing more than 600 classrooms. He also mentioned the significant progress in grades 1 and 8, where approximately 98% of learners had been placed.

However, he acknowledged that the system was still under significant pressure, mainly due to over 3 000 late applications received after 1 January 2023.

He expressed his gratitude to the admissions and infrastructure teams, who had worked excessive hours to resolve placement challenges in the Western Cape (WC). He explained that admissions were time-consuming, as each learner had unique considerations such as language, subjects, and in some cases, special needs.  He addressed the frustrations of some parents. He emphasised that the Department was committed to working with concerned parents to resolve each placement challenge. He announced that the Department had set up a public help desk outside the meeting venue to immediately address queries.

Briefing by the WCED on the 2022 National Senior Certificate Results and the 2023 Admissions Process

Mr Haroon Mahomed, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Curriculum and Assessment Management, WCED, reported on the 2022 matriculation results. He stated that 124 national question papers had been written, including backup papers for Life Orientation, Information Technology Paper 1 and Computer Applications Technology Paper 1. A total of about 32 000 000 images had been printed.

He explained that the question papers had been distributed using a secure system that allowed bags to be opened and closed on a specific date, time and location when an examination paper was written. Scripts had been returned using this system.

He added that the 2022 NSC Exam had been written at 485 examination centres, including combined centres, and 64 ex-WCED officials had served as monitors. He noted that examinations had been monitored across all districts daily, and reports had been submitted to DBE and Umalusi.

He shared the details of the preparation and invigilation process. He mentioned that the WCED had used an invigilator system of 50% teachers and 50% community members and had appointed 1 781 community invigilators. He said that the 2022 NSC/SC Invigilatorstraining had been conducted, via Microsoft (MS) Teams, from 12-13 October 2022 for all eight districts and that all schools had been provided with the presentation and videos of the training.

He pointed out that it had been compulsory for the following delegates involved in the conduct, administration and management of the 2022/23 NSC and SC examinations to attend the training sessions:

• Principals/centre managers (Chief invigilators);

• Two schools Senior Management Team (SMT) members;

• Senior invigilators;

• District officials involved in the conduct; 

• administration and management of the NSC and SC examinations in 2022/23.

Accommodations and Concessions

He reported that 2 257 candidates (3,6% of registered candidates) had received approved accommodations/concessions for the 2022 NSC examinations.

He defined accommodations as support mechanisms to ensure that learners with barriers to learning had an even opportunity to write the same examination as learners without a barrier to learning.

He described concessions as special approvals, e.g., exemption from a second language (another subject would be taken instead of the exempted language by the immigrant learner or barriers) or spelling that would be excused during marking.

He provided the information on the marking of the 2022 NSC examinations. He said that markers had written competency tests in 11 subjects, namely Accounting, Business Studies, Consumer Studies, Economics, English Home Language, Geography, History, Life Sciences, Mathematical Literacy, Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

He stated that marking had taken place from 8 to 22 December 2022 at the 11 venues, including CTLI, Western Cape Sports School, De Kuilen High, Brackenfell High Durbanville High, Wynberg BoysHigh, Wynberg GirlsHigh, SACS, Groote Schuur High and Rondebosch BoysHigh.

He mentioned that some subjects had been marked centrally at DBE, namely Agricultural Management Practices, Agricultural Technology, Music, Dance, SA Sign Language HL. English SAL & isiXhosa SAL had been marked in WC.

He discussed the NSC results in the context of the 2022 cohort.

The following fundamental policy changes impacted the Class of 2022:

• Policy on progression (eighth cohort);

• Discontinuation of the Policy on Multiple Examination Opportunity (MEO);

• Introduction of Sign Language Home Language in 2018;

• Introduction of Specialisation in Technology Subjects in 2018;

• Offering 2 question papers in Accounting and Business Studies;

• Abolishment of the designated list of subjects in 2018.

NSC results as outlined in the specific educational context: 

• Trimmed ATP in Grades 10 and 11;

• Amended Programme of Assessment – Grades 10 and 11;

• The cumulative effect of learning losses;

• Need for Psycho-Social support;

• Reduction in examinations and a greater focus on SBA;

• Subjected to the challenge of load shedding, service delivery protests disruptions.

The WCED performance in the 2022 NSC examinations 

He gave the details of the performance. He stated that 62 350 full-time candidates had registered for the 2022 NSC examinations. With 60 338 who had written, the turnout rate was 96.8%.

He said  the pass rate had increased from 81.2% in 2021 to 81.4% in 2022. He noted that there had been a decrease in access to a Bachelors degree from 45.3% in 2021 to 42.7% in 2022.

He announced that the province had achieved the highest Mathematics and Physical Sciences pass rates of 67.9% and 81.1%, respectively.

He added that four (4) districts had achieved pass rates over 80%. He mentioned that Metro North had achieved the highest Bachelors degree access of 51.9% (incl. independent schools).

He reported that the pass rate in the thirteen (13) ELSEN schools had decreased from 90.0% in 2021 to 83.0% in 2022. He said that 40.0% of their candidates had passed with access to a Bachelors Degree programme.

He informed that in the WC, 70 457 schools (15.3%) had achieved a 100% pass rate. He pointed out that 92 schools had maintained a pass rate of 95% and above for the past five years (2018-2022), indicating the ability to sustain excellent learner performance and functionality at these schools.

Preparing for the May/June 2023 examinations

He stated that they would notify candidates once Umalusi had approved the results. He said the NSC 2022 and the SC online registration closed on 8 February 2023. He announced that the May / June exam was scheduled to start on 3 May 2023.

He provided the details of the feedback to districts and schools on the 2022 NSC results. He said that districts had been supplied with their District results comparison of SBA vs Examination and an interactive electronic program of the per question analysis for each question paper.

He added that districts had been supplied with their overall circuit and school performance and detailed analysis of the performance in subjects at the district and school levels.

He explained that Subject, District and School data analysis and interpretation with Examination Publication Report had been supplied to Senior Curriculum Planners, Heads: Curriculum and Assessment Coordinators to be further mediated with Circuit Managers and Subject Advisors and used for planning and target setting.

He mentioned that Chief marker and internal moderator reports on the 2022 examination question papers had been supplied to Senior Curriculum Planners for engagement with Curriculum advisors.

He highlighted the school improvement plans to support schools performing under 60%.

He outlined the plans to enhance the FET program improvement focus on five thrusts:

• Improve the pedagogical content knowledge and assessment practices of teachers in all subjects by providing demand-driven development opportunities that include effective use of data

• Coordinate a differentiated learner support intervention targeting the marginalised and talented

• Institutionalise effective curriculum management and assessment to enhance accountability at all levels

• Emphasis on learner participation in STEAMAC

• Integration of ICT into teaching and learning


The class of 2023 implementation were outlined as follows:

• Detailed Subject Packages being mediated – Curriculum Roadshows in all districts

• Greater focus on support for schools in poorer quintiles

• Emphasis on progressed learners and learners at risk with 40% in grade 11, change subject and home language

• Strong advocacy and communication with all stakeholders

• Maximum utilisation of support packages and participation in initiatives – Telematics / Revision program / direct learner support

The framework plan for underperforming schools was outlined under three objectives.

The first objective will craft and set criteria for identifying targeted schools (underperforming and at-risk). The actions are to be broken down into specific activities, timeframes, roles and responsibilities, which are to be monitored). 

The use of relevant data includes, but is not limited to:

• DBE/WCED pre-determined criteria

• Data generated by monitoring tools/plans of schools, e.g., SSEs, APPRs, SiPs, and so on

• Academic performance: internal and external results (Systemic, NSC)

• Data in school visit reports

• Data from relevant surveys and evaluations (e.g. SEA)

• CEMIS data, e.g., learner enrollment, number of /overcrowded classes, learner and educator attendance stats, no-fee status, after-school programmes, and so on

• The subject offerings at high schools must be re-packaged and reduced to be managed more effectively in terms of context and interest

• Education Provisioning Plans "on-the-ground" data: safety-related issues, quality of management, inappropriately qualified teachers, existing projects, and so on

The second objective will provide a systems/holistic approach to supporting targeted schools which focuses on the following:

• Well-being and psycho-social support of all staff

• Creating safe work and learning environments for staff and learners

• Professional development of School Management Teams 

• Various interventions for learners (camps, extra classes, nutrition, hostel accommodation, psycho-social support, etc.)

• Capacitation of School Governing Bodies

• Implementation and support of innovative delivery modalities

• Supporting improved pedagogy

• Targeting of selected educators (e.g., novice, underperforming, selected subjects, etc.)

• They are improving resource allocations (including human resources) to enhance teaching and learning.

• Support and monitor assessment-related practices to support learner outcomes.

• Providing high-quality, developmental feedback to schools

He described the actions that would identify and confirm (per the SIP) the needs of schools requiring support according to the intended outputs and outcomes by analysing the needs of the learners, Principal, SMT, educators, SGB, and changing environment.

He said that the WCED would engage in collaborative planning, drawing on or considering existing plans or programmes of District officials, WCED/DBE, other provincial departments, municipalities, and other relevant stakeholders.

He stated that targets/milestones/indicators would be set to measure/review progress regarding roll-out of support, methods and approaches, fulfilling roles and responsibilities, and impact on performance/targets.

He explained that business plans would be managed to ensure availability and optimal use of resources which included but were not limited to funding LTSM (including software), ICT requirements, human resources, networks, and managing risks.

He outlined the strategy that would focus on fulfilling roles and responsibilities (including leads), clear and regular communication, regular check-ins to monitor progress, meeting deadlines, and unblocking roadblocks.

He added that the third objective would facilitate monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure accountability. He mentioned that the actions would design and implement a plan for monitoring which included:

• Dates for reflection sessions;

• Participants in sessions;

• Tools/reports/documents to be used to access data;

• Status of resources;

• How to assess progress against outputs;

• How to assess the efficiency of the team—the quality of outputs.

He stated that the Department would submit recommendations for improvement via regular meetings, design a report management mechanism, and ensure that relevant recommendations were passed to key decision-makers/managers.

He said that guidelines and recommendations would be followed by effecting changes to the programme and implementation plans. He added that this would involve giving recognition to implementers or project teams, implementing risk mitigation, and regular reporting.

He provided the details of the wellness, particularly for Grade 12 Psycho-social Support in Specialised Support Services. He highlighted the psycho-social Support in Specialised Support Services.

He emphasised that given the turbulent context since 2020, the WCED, with the collective efforts of all officials, learners, parents, stakeholders and parents, had managed an improved pass rate.

He congratulated the conduct, management and administration of the National Senior Certificate for being successfully undertaken.

He assured that the WCED would once again strive to ensure that the class of 2023 was supported to achieve the best possible outcome, namely improvements on all criteria based on realistic progression rates.

Briefing on the 2023 admissions process 

He introduced Mr Brent Walters, Head of Education, WCED, who briefed the Committee on the 2023 admissions process.

Mr Walters reported that the WCED system had increased by 17 901 learners on average per year over the period 2018 - 2022. He repeated that the average growth per year was 17 901.

The Department outlined the admissions process as follows:

• January 2022: Advocacy in schools—posters and pamphlets

• March 2022: Advocacy in media about the upcoming admission process

• 14 March 2022: Admissions opened

• 15 April 2022: Admissions closed (site remains open for late applications)

• 16 April 2022: 27 May 2022—SGBs apply their admission policies and finalise applications

• 27 May 2022: Parents informed of the outcome of applications

• 17 June 2022: The closing date for parents to decide which school they accept

• 18 June 2022: The system will activate the first successful option where parents have not confirmed

• 24 June to 19 July 2022: Schools are closed

• 19 July to 31 August 2022—Schools review admission lists and contact parents who applied on the system and still need a place

• 1 September to 15 December 2022—The WCED Admission Teams place and resolve outstanding cases

Mr Walters had reported that a successful infrastructure plan had been delivered. By 31 January 2023, 662 classrooms had been completed for the 2023 school year.

He added that a total of 180 classrooms were in the process of completion in line with target dates. He praised the build rate as unprecedented, saying  it was building the equivalent of 1 school every four days, or 8 classes per day on average.

He mentioned that the rapid build project had seen the completion of 5 new schools. He highlighted that building the Saxonsea Junior High School took just 65 working days.

He explained the challenges of late applications. He said an applicant might require additional classrooms, teachers, transportation or a new subject or language stream. He said  this required discussion and agreement with the schools governing body (SGB) and, in some cases, local municipalities.

He stated that the 10-day Snap Survey also needed to be finalised to determine where the needs lay so that fair distribution of resources could occur in terms of demand.

He noted that areas where learners applied might need to be more populated. He said alternatives in other nearby communities needed to be sought, which might require transportation.

He pointed out that some schools had grade cohorts bigger than others, making placement in a particular grade within that immediate community difficult, particularly with siblings that required different grades.

He acknowledged that learners could have a specific language preference not accommodated at their closest school. He said that subject choices also needed to be considered, as not all schools offered the same subject streams. He said that the specialised needs of learners also needed to be considered.

He described the placement plan. He reported that a total of 70 mobiles had been procured for placement in areas of demand based on CEMIS data (10-day Snap Survey) and late applications.

He said that the 70 mobiles were over and above the 842 classrooms they aimed to build for the 2023 school year. He announced that an additional 1 143 teaching posts had been allocated for the 2023 school year.

He said that the 10-day Snap Survey figures were currently being verified and would inform many of the interventions.

He reported that resource packs for learners had been printed and distributed at district offices for learners applying late.

He said that online support links had been sent to parents for additional reading and at-home learning.

Learner Materials

By the end of 2022, in preparation for the 2023 school year, the WCED delivered the following:

• Textbooks: R62 million;

• Stationary: R39 million;

• Furniture: R50 million;

• Equipment: R1.6 million.

He said that due to the rapid build programme, additional textbooks for the new schools had been ordered and were being delivered. He said that further deliveries of textbooks that were out of print would be provided by 28 February 2023.

He provided the details of Learner Transport. He said all learner transport scheme applications received timeously for 2023 were processed and finalised by December 2022.

He added that late learner transport applications, mainly related to the rapid build programme and the opening of new schools late in November, had been processed and finalised in January 2023.

He reported the status of vandalism at schools during the holidays. He said that a total of 48 incidents of burglary and vandalism affecting 42 schools had been reported during the holiday period.

He noted that this was an increase from the 41 incidents affecting 34 schools reported during the previous end-of-year holidays.

He explained that the WCED provided subsidies for holiday security at 439 schools. He said it had distributed a budget of R11.7 million for the 2022/23 financial year.  He said the budget was distributed to the eight education districts, which distributed the funds to schools for additional holiday security.

Admissions 2024

The Department outlined the admissions plan for 2024 as follows:

 • February 2023: Advocacy in schools—posters and pamphlets

 • March 2023: Advocacy in media about the upcoming admission process

 • 13 March 2023: Admissions opened

 • 14 April 2023: Admissions closed (site remains open for late applications)

The pamphlet to all primary schools and registered ECD facilities will be distributed as follows:

• Pamphlets for all exit grades

• Posters for schools with exit grades

• Mall activations: Hosting of enrollment days

• Radio ads

• Print ads: community newspapers

• Digital banners

• In the taxi and back of the bus, OOH

• Mobile and Static Billboards

• Loud Hailer services in communities

• Social Media – promoted posts

The WCED provides online admissions assistance by opening "pop-up" admission sites in each of the eight education districts. 

Each pamphlet contains details of where support can be provided for those that need access to IT services for their online application. 

See the presentations for further details. 


The Chairperson thanked the Department for the presentation.   

Mr C Fry (DA) referred to the challenging experience of learners subjected to violence, assaults, and gangsterism at their schools and the subsequent impact on their school progress. He asked the Department to clarify the meaning of Trauma Informed Classrooms/Schools.    

On the 2023 admission presentation, he noted discrepancies in school placement. He cited cases where the residential location of learners needed to be considered in the placement process. He asked for clarification on the admissions policy regarding the residential location of learners.   

Mr F Christians (ACDP) commented on the 2022 NSC results in the context of the performances of the metro schools. He noted that there needed to be more distinction between underperforming and performing schools. He also asked whether there was a significant increase in the performance of the disadvantaged schools.   

He noted that the strong leadership of principals was critical in the successful implementation of the programmatic interventions of the Department. He said that quality education had only been achieved in some schools. At district offices, he asked the Department to prioritise service delivery and to improve the assistance provided to parents and learners.   

Mr D Plato (DA) commended the Department on its positive achievements. Regarding the school improvement programme, he highlighted the need to prioritise the early placement of learners.

Mr R Mackenzie (DA), WC Provincial Legislature, cited the improved results of the Princeton High School in Mitchells Plain. He said the principal and teachers had informed him that the learnersresults had improved due to a paradigm shift and attitude change. He recommended that the Department utilise this as a best practice.  On the infrastructure issue, he questioned whether the Department had sufficient funding to sustain the building of new schools annually.

Mr M Kama (ANC) referred to slides eight and 11 of the WCEDs presentation on the 2022 NSC results. He expressed concern for the many registered learners who did not write the examinations. Specifically, 62 350 learners were registered, yet 60 338 wrote the examinations. He asked the Department to explain the reasons for the absence of the learners who did not write. He asked what measures were undertaken to address their absence.  

He asked the Department to elaborate on how it assisted learners in properly pairing subjects for improved access to higher education.

WCED Response

Mr Walters responded to the issue of admissions policies and emphasised that the policies were drafted by the schools and school governing bodies (SGBs). He said that the WC system differed from the Gauteng system. He said that some schools would consider proximity, while others would not. He said that Apex schools were oversubscribed schools because they were some of the schools of choice.   

On the performance of disadvantaged schools, he said that these schools were unequivocally achieving improved results. He provided the example of the positive performance of Hector Petersen High School and the schools 95 % pass rate.   

He agreed that the leadership of principals at schools was essential. Thus, as HOD, he recruited principals to ensure suitable candidates were appointed. He also conducted quarterly meetings with principal associations to engage in leadership discussions.   

On Mathematics, he noted the particular sensitivities of some learners. However, he said that many tertiary courses did not require mathematics as a fascinating subject. He said the Department was committed to ensuring all learners had equal access to higher education.

The WCED call centre was available to all learners. He encouraged call centre users to report any challenges to the Department.   

On the improved results at Princeton High School in Mitchells Plain, he agreed that the learnersparadigm shift and attitude change was commendable. He said that attitude determined altitude. He noted the importance of the proper selection of principals and teachers.

Regarding infrastructure funding, he said that the Department depended on the Treasury to approve funds.   Regarding the reasons for the absence of the registered learners from the 2022 matriculation examinations, he said that the Department was not particularly concerned, as the numbers were reasonable compared to absences in the context of the 2021 examinations.   

Ms Heather van Ster, Director:West Coast Education District, WCED, said that the inefficiency of the call centre was inexcusable. However, she said that load-shedding had negatively impacted operations.

On the lack of proper assistance to parents at district offices, she said there was a significant increase in the number of parents approaching the offices in the last week of January 2023 and the first week of February 2023. Despite the high numbers, all parents were assisted, and learners were placed in schools.

Mr Mahomed responded on the issue of Trauma Informed Classrooms/Schools. He said that there were 400 secondary schools which required support in this regard. He said the needs were substantial, especially in the violence hotspot areas.

In addition to the general learning support programme, he said that the Department collaborated with the Office of the Premier and the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture on a pilot project in the violence hotspot areas. He said that facilitators were trained in the context of the life orientation programme. He said that learners were provided with additional therapy. He said that the pilot indicated that the learners were responsive.

He said that the Department would provide the Committee with a further breakdown of the reported results per school allocation on the top-performing schools.

He said that building teacher morale was essential to motivate and inspire teachers. He said that the WCED had instituted the Year of the Teacher. He said the Department also prioritised dialogue with teachers on the 2022 results.

On the registered learners who were absent from the examinations, he said that the numbers had decreased over the years. He said that the cohort of absent learners were learners who had medical reasons for their absence. He said that it was not only learners who had disengaged. He said that the Department encouraged the absent learners to rewrite.

He said the WCED encouraged learners to report any challenges in accessing higher education. He said that career guidance and a tracking system would be prioritised on an inter-departmental and whole-of-society approach.

Minister Maynier emphasised that not only private schools achieved positive results. He referred to the Hector Petersen High School 95 % pass rate. He said that the principal of this school was instrumental in leading the positive performance of the learners. He said that Costa High School produced the second-placed quintile two nationally and the top physical science learner in the WC. He said  South Peninsula High School had four learners in the top 40 list.   

He said that the Department would significantly increase investment in developing the leadership skills of principals in the province.   

He said infrastructure funding was sourced primarily from the national government, namely the Education Infrastructure Grant, and significantly topped up by provincial equitable share in 2022. He said that the RSB programme had been successful. He said that the Department was seeking further top-up funds to sustain the programme.   

He said that the pathway to and financial placement at higher education institutions was a priority to the Department. He said that, in particular, the top 40 learners of the province would be financially assisted in this regard.  

The Chairperson recommended that the Committee invite the Department of Higher Education to brief on access to higher education.

Mr Christians asked how many schools utilised the learner support programmes. He asked how the Department assisted learners with subject choices.   

Mr K Sayed (ANC) said that classroom sizes impacted learner performance. He requested that the WCED consider a cap on the number of learners per classroom.   

He observed that most unplaced learners were learners who had applied on time. He asked what the bottlenecks  caused the lack of placement and the measures to address the bottlenecks. Mr McKenzie requested clarity on the location of the unplaced learners.    

The Chairperson remarked that it was unprecedented for the Department of Education to work overtime during the festive season to ensure that more than 600 classrooms were built. She congratulated the WCED for this achievement. She also commended the WCED for the improved number of placements compared to the previous year.   

She noted her appreciation for the WCEDs online tools and resources. She asked how this resource could be used to improve mathematics and physical sciences in rural constituencies with limited physical infrastructure.   

Mr Kama asked the Department to elaborate on the impact of the schools determining their own admissions policy.   

Mr Walters responded on learner support programmes. He noted that more than 3 0000 applications were received for schools of choice. He expanded upon the multiple components of schools of choice, with strong leadership being a key component.   

He noted that the placement of learners was not a crisis. He said that the building of additional infrastructure, specifically through the RSB, was prioritised to counter challenges.

Mr Juan Benjamin, Chief Director: Curriculum Management and Teacher Development, WCED, said that the Department implemented a blended learning system. He said that on a provincial level, a tele-maths programme was broadcast from Stellenbosch University. He said that the programme focused on high schools. He said that an e-portal was available within the Department and would be upgraded within due course. He said that schools had access to online platforms and subject learners at the district level.   

Minister Maynier conceded that there were placement challenges but said  they did not need to be at the crisis level. He said that the Department had prioritised assistance to parents and learners.   

He said that the Department was rapidly expanding access by expanding the building of schools, especially the number of schools of choice.   

He said that the admissions to schools were the responsibility of SGBs. He said that the admissions policy had to be consistent with the Constitution and that appeals processes were available.   

The Chairperson thanked the Department for the briefing.

Input by concerned parents

The Department had set up a public helpdesk outside the meeting venue to immediately address queries. The Department had received and captured the information of 68 persons. Out of the 68 persons, ten had been new placement applications, and 58 had been follow-up applications.

The concerned parents informed the Committee of their experiences regarding learner placements and other challenges their children had faced.   

A concerned parent had noted the challenges of violence her son experienced at school, including bullying and assault. She also shared that her niece had been raped at the same school. She had requested the Department to intervene and assist the learners.   

A parent had informed the Committee that her daughter had been sexually assaulted at her school. The school had not assisted her daughter in accessing legal and psycho-social support. She added that the Department had yet to follow up on her requests for intervention.   

The Chairperson  thanked the parent for her bravery and for approaching the Committee. She had said that violence should not be condoned or tolerated at schools.   

A parent from Langa had said that her son had been videotaped while using the bathroom, and the video had been circulated on social media. She had reported the incident to the Department and the schools principal. The schools principal had invited her and the other childs parents to a meeting.

The Minister and the Department were asked to take urgent action to prevent and address bullying at school. This was imperative to prevent suicides and violence among learners. She noted that gender-based violence was a significant factor in the homes of learners who had perpetrated violence. She had requested that the Department appoint social workers in schools.   

The online placement system challenged parents who needed to be computer literate. Were there alternative means available to such parents, especially in rural areas?   

Further, she had requested whether the Department had a research unit to provide population data to inform placement. She also had asked whether the announcement of the Departments intention to build additional schools during the covid pandemic would be implemented.   

A parent from Khayelitsha had noted the efforts of the Department. He had requested a meeting with the Minister to discuss the specific issues of his community.   

A parent had said that the Department of Education and Social Development had to work closely together. Schools needed to comprehend the implications of Section 110 of the Childrens Act. Social workers had often been required to intervene and provide guidance on the violations in terms of the legislation.   

A parent of a five-year-old down syndrome child had referenced the challenges she had encountered in seeking creche placement. The administrative requirements, particularly the requests for supporting medical information, could have been more convenient. She had been able to find placement online. However, she  needed help paying the fees.

Committee and WCED response

The Chairperson thanked the concerned parents for their submissions on severe issues, particularly safety and gender-based violence. She noted the care of parents for their children as well as their concern for their communities.  

Mr Walters responded that the Department would provide individual feedback to the parents directly after the meeting.   

Minister Maynier thanked the parents for their valuable contributions and for fighting for their children. The Departments senior officials would endeavour to assist the learners and parents.   

The meeting was adjourned.


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