Schools in interior South Africa reopen as parents complain of lack of places


CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 01: Desks and chairs ready for grade 12 students seen at Horskool Jan van Riebeeck, an Afrikaans high school on June 1, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. Schools in the Western Cape have opened their doors to grade 7 and 12 students for the first time since the lockdown began in late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Nardus Engelbrecht / Gallo Images via Getty Images)
Desks and chairs ready for grade 12 students are seen at Horskool Jan van Riebeeck, an Afrikaans high school in Cape Town, South Africa on June 1, 2020 (Photo by Nardus Engelbrecht / Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Schools in the landlocked South African provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and Free State welcomed learners to class on Wednesday, while schools in the coastal provinces of Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are expected open next week.

The resumption of classes comes as some parents complain that they have not been able to find places in class for their children.

Education ministry officials said that although the majority of eligible learners were placed in schools, they were having difficulty finding places for some children in some areas.

Parents whose children have not been placed in schools near the administrative capital Pretoria have threatened to interrupt classes until the issue is resolved, according to local media.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said provinces would not be abandoned to take up the challenge themselves, but insisted the national government remains “obliged to find a place for every child” and would do everything in their power to do so.

South Africa, like many countries across the continent, has faced repeated cycles of school disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with varying rates of internet connectivity, making it difficult to keep up. support distance learning strategies for many regions.

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