The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has expressed grave concern that there are some dishonest parents who are exploiting the enrolment system by alleging that their children do not have places in schools simply because they are not satisfied with schools where their children have been placed.
The education ministry permanent secretary Sanet Steenkamp revealed this to New Era yesterday when queried on the Grade 1 and 8 enrolments that are problematic every year.
Teachers started work for the 2017 academic year on Monday and placement is expected to follow at least until next week.
Although Steenkamp said the ministry does not foresee the same crisis where parents are often seen scrambling for Grade 1 and 8 places for their children, she noted some untruthful parents are making the process cumbersome.
“In the short space of time from this morning up until now, we found out that learners were admitted at school A, but the parents don’t want their learners at school A. What the parents do is come to the head office and say ‘my child has not been admitted’. We now have cases where parents are exploiting the system and giving us additional work, which should not be the case. That’s where we have problems,” she said.
According to her, if there are parents who did not apply for their children on time due to various reasons, then they should also be honest about that.
She said government has put in place measures such as injecting financial resources for additional classrooms that were constructed already last year in regions such Erongo, Khomas, Zambezi and Kunene to cater for more learners.
“We will be on a daily basis with the regions. We have a help desk at the ministry compiled of different staff to liaise with the different regions and we will get a clear picture as we go by. But this year we don’t expect the same scramble as previous years because we have allocated additional resources for additional classrooms and sanitation,” she maintained.
Even though government has made advanced arrangements in each region for Grade 1 and 8 placements, parents who relocate due to various reasons such as employment opportunities negatively impact such progress.
Further, she said the ministry was last year very proactive in terms of placements.
“We already started our application process for admission last year between June and July. The beginning of August, schools determined whether there were places or not and then parents were also informed,” Steenkamp noted.
The PS said the ministry head office does not get involved in admission but only coordinates the process to provide a holistic picture on placements to the nation in each region.
Meanwhile, about 103 Grade 1 learners are without placement and about 328 Grade 8 learners are also not sure of their 2017 academic year in Khomas Region.
Khomas director of education Gerard Vries told Nampa on Monday that ahead of the official opening of government schools countrywide today many parents appeared to have failed in their duties.
Vries lashed out at parents, saying the government alone cannot be held liable for children not being assigned to a school.
“It is not the fault of government that children are not placed for their respective grades as parents were informed in September last year to register their children.”