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Gauteng education to kick-off online admissions

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 09 Jul 2024
Matome Chiloane, Gauteng MEC for education, sport, arts, culture and recreation. (Photograph by GDE)
Matome Chiloane, Gauteng MEC for education, sport, arts, culture and recreation. (Photograph by GDE)

With the start of the third school term, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) today officially announced its online admissions system will go live this week, 11 July.

This is the online application system meant for registration of learners starting grades one and eight in the 2025 academic year.

Announcing the commencement of online admissions, Matome Chiloane, Gauteng MEC for education, sport, arts, culture and recreation, said the system will close on 12 August, at midnight.

Chiloane said there were a number of reasons for the late start to the 2025 Gauteng schools online registrations process, including the school holidays, the general elections and setting up the new government administration.

“We are not late in regards to placement, but just starting the process a bit later,” he said, adding that he’s also only been in the job four days following his re-appointment in the role of education MEC. “On 11 July, 8am, the system will go live until 12 August.

“All parents must understand that they have to apply online for grade one and grade eight. With each year, the applications require parents to register a new profile. For every child, whether it’s grade one or grade eight, you need to start afresh.

“This is an easy process [for] parents – it’s convenient for them to apply for admission for grades one and eight at home or anywhere. It eliminates historical challenges that we always had…in the past, we used to have long queues at schools, with some parents even sleeping at the schools’ gates. With this process, we’ve eliminated all of that.

“For us, it assists us with data access, accurate stats; it allows us immediate access and enables us to plan accordingly.”

The provincial education department introduced the schools online registration system for grade one and eight learners in 2016, under leadership of premier Panyaza Lesufi. This was part of the department’s effort to prevent long queues and encourage a tech-savvy school registration process.

The system, however, has often been prone to hiccups, ranging from the inability to handle multiple users at a time and the department failing to communicate on time with parents on the status of their children's applications, to finding schools for unplaced learners at the start of every academic year.

It has also been reported that the system has been prone to manipulation by some officials in schools and district offices.

During today’s announcement, Chiloane acknowledged the system began slowly, with some teething problems when it started. However, that’s not the case today, he stated.

“I’m confident today that the system is smooth, it is working very well. In this academic year, we’ve placed over 400 000 learners. All learners that completed applications for this academic year were placed.

“We had incomplete applications, but those that complied were placed.”

According to the MEC, among the key issues raised by parents and stakeholders during consultative processes is timeous communication and updates. “We’ve tried to improve on that aspect and worked around the clock to sort it out.

“What’s also important is the parents’ phone numbers − give us a reliable number and don’t lose it. This is how we’ll continually update you on how far the process is.”