17 new schools to open in Gauteng

Students from Pretoria Boys High School congratulate each other for their results of the matric exams on 7 January 2014. Picture: Christine Vermooten

A total of 17 new primary and high schools will open their doors across Gauteng when the academic year begins on Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with The Citizen, Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy said another 11 will open by March in order to handle the influx of pupils into public schools.

“These are schools that have been built in new locations. Some [schools] were historically on farms and we could not develop them,” she said.

The new education centres bring the total number of schools in Gauteng to 2 200, which are expected to take in 131 000 Grade 1 pupils. A further 114 learners will embark on high school in Grade 8.

Creecy said these pupils were placed in the 15 Gauteng educational districts by the end of October.

“Outstanding and late admissions are being processed. We will do our best to meet our constitutional obligation of ensuring access to education for all children. However, it might not be possible to place each child at a school of choice,” she warned.

Addressing community members at the Masiqhakaze Senior Secondary School in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni yesterday, she said 99.9% of support materials have been delivered in Gauteng.

“Outstanding top-up deliveries have been taking place throughout the weekend and we will do our best to ensure each pupil has a text book on day one of the academic year,” she said.

Creecy said some preparations included safety measures such as scholar patrols, cleaning up of schools and repairing 63 others which had been affected by hailstorms in the Tshwane and West Rand areas in November last year.

“Contractors have started working on repairs at 34 of these schools. The rest of the sites are being handed over [to contractors] on a daily basis,” she said.

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