Close to 3,000 pupils did not return to school due to Covid-19 fears

Pupils say a prayer before learning resumes for the 2021 school year at Blomvlei Primary School in Hanover Park, Cape Town.
Pupils say a prayer before learning resumes for the 2021 school year at Blomvlei Primary School in Hanover Park, Cape Town.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES/ ESA ALEXANDER

Close to 3,000 pupils did not return to school last year after the imposition of the March lockdown due to Covid-19 fears, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has disclosed.

Lesufi said the school districts would be consolidating current attendance figures and compare it with the previous year, to verify the accurate number of pupils who might have dropped out.

The department welcomed around 2.3 million pupils back to school on Monday, he said.

He was speaking at the unveiling of the R77m state-of-the-art Abram Hlophe Primary School in Katlehong in Ekurhuleni. Premier David Makhura, infrastructure development MEC Tasneem Motara and Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina also attended the handing-over ceremony.

Lesufi said the school has been refurbished and fitted with two laboratories, an administration block, a library, two combi courts, a nutrition centre and guard house.

“Our children must not come out of informal settlements to go to informal schools.”

Lesufi said they had made progress on the admissions process.

“It is encouraging that the department has made progress in the placement of learners for the new school year.

“A total of 221,271 (grade 1: 104,981 and grade 8: 116,290) applicants have been placed.

“We are working tirelessly to place the remaining 1,004 (0.45%) applicants,” he said.

TimesLIVE


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