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Unplaced Western Cape students caught amid MEC, activists spat

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Through Sisonke Mlamla 18h ago

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Cape Town – Equal Education (EE) and Equal Education Law Center (EELC) rejected MEC Education Debbie Schäfer’s claims that they were unwilling to help solve the school admissions crisis.

The groups said Schäfer should take responsibility for developing long-term solutions to the annual admissions crisis instead of making false claims about them.

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In a statement, the groups said last week, Schäfer claimed that the EE failed to provide the Western Cape Department of Education (WCED) with “verifiable data” on the number of students in the school. province who were not yet enrolled in schools.

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“It’s very unfortunate because we (WCED) were hoping to have some help in this regard,” she said.

EE and EELC said they wanted to officially state that Schäfer’s comments were bogus.

“At the start of each year there are thousands of learners who are moved to schools in the Western Cape, and in anticipation of this we wrote to Schäfer on October 23, 2020, to raise our concerns and ask questions about WCED’s plans for the placement of learners for 2021. “

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They said their two organizations stressed the need for WCED to develop well thought out and clear plans to deal with the annual crisis, and that Schäfer’s response to their letter was dismissive and did not provide a plan.

Schäfer said the list provided by the EELC did not contain any identification number or Centralized Education Management Information System (Cemis) number and that in one case even the last name was not not provided.

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She said no phone number had been provided to the parents of 10 of the students, preventing the department from accessing the information needed to place the students.

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“There are other concerns – a 30-year-old ‘learner’ appears on the list, for whom parents would have applied to primary school. A 6-year-old is listed as needing a place in 5th grade. A child is 4 years old – not even of school age, “Schäfer said.

She said more revealingly that for 28 learners, parents said they had never applied for a school and for 14 other students they had not answered whether and where they had. applied.

“It is not clear how a learner can be displaced if they haven’t even applied for a place in a school. Yet EELC claims they are displaced,” she said.

Cape Argus

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