D-day for Gauteng school applications

Parents of Grade 1 and 8 pupils in Gauteng have until midnight to apply online to secure space for their children.

The department is moving away from late applications and parents who do not apply online by midnight on the 28 May 2018 are running the risk of having their children out of school in January 2019.

We are indebted to all parents who have heeded to our call and applied in numbers. The response from the public was indeed overwhelming. We encourage those that have applied to conform to the stipulated deadline, said Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

Parents that have applied have been reminded to submit the required documents at schools urgently.

As a special concession, schools will accept documents only up to 14:00 on 5 June 2018. Failure to submit documents will lead to applicants forfeiting their positions in the queue.

To date, a total of 535 064 applications have been processed since the start of the online applications on 16 April 2018. Of these applications, 251 808 applications were for Grade 1 and 283 256 for Grade 8.

Most of these are self-applications by parents that utilised the system. Approximately 18 000 parents utilised the 37 decentralised admission centres for assistance to apply on online, said the department.

The department said while most of the decentralised admission centres were flooded on the first day of applications, the application period proceeded relatively free of errors.

Some of the challenges encountered by the department during the application period include applicants applying to the wrong grade, entering incorrect addresses, lost or forgotten login credentials and a technical error when selecting sibling.

Delay in the provision of some reference numbers parents who could not find their addresses were immediately advised to select the can't find address option which was available from the onset, said the department.

Demand for schools exceeds available spaces

Based on the number of applications registered to date, there are 596 schools where demand exceeds available spaces. Some of the schools in these areas have recorded between 1 538 and 1 960 applications for either Grade 1 or Grade 8.

There are 385 schools with less than 50 applications, 79 schools with less than 20 applications, and 69 schools with less than 10 applications. These schools are all located in townships.

It is concerning that in the last two years many parents in townships waited for the late application period and flooded GDE offices in January to apply for their children, said the department.

Parents from other provinces who are planning to move to Gauteng are urged to apply online before the closing date.

Placement process

According to the GDE, the placement process will start from 18 July 2018 and end 31 October 2018.

Availability of space is the key determinant of how many children can be placed in a school and placement will be conducted in compliance with admissions criteria and on a first-come-first-served basis.

During the placement period, principals will receive the approved and signed Waiting Lists from District Directors to process offers of placement, said the department.

Schools will send offers of placement to parents from 18 July 2018 to 3 August 2018.

During this period, parents will receive sms notifications regarding the status of their applications.

Parents are to confirm offers of placement within seven (7) working days of receipt. Parents who do not confirm acceptance and/or reject offers will forfeit the space offered.

During the period 6 August 2018 to 31 October 2018, districts will facilitate placement of learners who could not be placed by schools.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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