Parents queue for grade R

Parent Tony Govender adds Sigamoney Kisten and his grandson, Dre’n Chengelrayen, to the list he has made of people queuing outside Hopeville Primary to ensure places for next year. Parents and grandparents are camping out to register their children
Parent Tony Govender adds Sigamoney Kisten and his grandson, Dre’n Chengelrayen, to the list he has made of people queuing outside Hopeville Primary to ensure places for next year. Parents and grandparents are camping out to register their children
Image: Jackie Clausen

Armed with camp chairs‚ blankets and flasks of hot coffee‚ parents started queuing outside a Durban school two days before registration opened for grade R next year.

Rodney Shereodev was the third parent to arrive at Hopeville Primary School in Phoenix‚ north of Durban‚ on Sunday.

He camped outside the school overnight until his wife took his place in the queue on Monday morning.

“We decided to get ourselves organised‚ so we handed out tickets according to when we arrived,” he said. “We also have a list to show how we are positioned in the queue.”

The list and tickets were agreed on by the 55 parents who were already in the queue by Monday morning.

“We trust that it is followed when registration opens on Tuesday‚” Shereodev said.

Two months ago‚ the school sent out a notice informing parents that admission of new pupils would take place on August 7.

The notice said there were only 105 places available for grade R and limited space for grades 1 and 5.

Shereodev said that while admission was on a first come‚ first served basis‚ children with siblings already at the school would be given preference.

“We hope our son gets in. It is a good school‚ perhaps the best in Phoenix‚” he said.

Long queues outside Hopeville Primary have been a familiar annual sight ahead of new admissions.

Another parent‚ who did not want to be named‚ said it was “like a private school‚ only cheaper”.

KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesman Kwazi Mthethwa said the admission criteria were based on each school’s policy.

This policy is devised during the annual meeting and is agreed on by the governing body‚ parents and pupil representatives.

“It is up to the school‚ but we step in when schools use their policies to isolate some children‚” he said.

He said the province had 6‚000 schools and there was enough space for all children.

“But parents want their children to go to what they believe are the best schools.

“We want parents to know that they don’t have to queue to get into these ‘best’ schools‚” he said.

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