Lesufi says court interdict sought by Pretoria schools 'unexpected'

MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi speaks candidly during an interview on April 29, 2015 in Johannesburg. Photo: Gallo Images / Beeld / Simone Kley

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi on Wednesday said that the urgent court interdict sought by two Pretoria high schools was unexpected as they were in discussions to resolve issues surrounding language and demographic issues.

On Tuesday, Lesufi’s office was handed court documents seeking to stop him from allowing more learners into their schools.

“They have more Afrikaans classes than English. We were in discussion to expand English classes and then I was issued papers,” said Lesufi.

He said that the two schools, Overkruin and Montana High School, were refusing to take more English speaking learners, saying it would affect language and demographic policies.

However, the high court in Pretoria‚ ruled the matter brought by the two schools was not urgent and struck it off the roll.

READ: Schools take Lesufi to court over language policy

Lesufi added that 87 percent of the learners that needed to be placed were in progression grades which are grades 2, 3 and 4.

When asked about the new online registration, Lesufi said that parents needed to adjust to change.

As many as 40,000 learners were still waiting to be placed in schools resulting in questions about the efficiency of the online registration system

“We can’t go back. It duplicates things. The online registration is telling us which areas need new schools,” Lesufi said.

“I’m convinced that the 40,000 will be attended to. The only limitation is that we won’t take you to the school that you want. We are pushing schools hard and schools are fighting back.”

Lesufi said that ideally 200 new schools were needed to clear learner placement backlogs and to meet growing demands.

This year the province will build a new school every month, he said.

African News Agency

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