Gauteng education readies for online applications

Read time 3min 20sec

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) will open its online registration portal for 2021 applications for grades one and eight on Thursday, 25 June.

According to the GDE, the online system will accept applications until 25 July, at midnight.

“I urge all parents and guardians to use the online registration process and apply during the specified application period. No late applications will be accommodated,” says Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

Introduced in 2016, the portal allows for parents and guardians of learners currently in grades R or grade seven, to apply online for the admission of their children to grades one and eight.

The department decided to introduce the system to handle large volumes of applications, as well as allow for a transparent and fair school application process for learners starting those grades.

The GDE’s online registration process commences while SA is still under the COVID-19 lockdown, with government urging citizens to stay at home and observe social distancing protocols.

For those parents unable to apply from the comfort of their homes or offices, the department has made certain provisions. It has identified 34 decentralised walk-in centres in different areas where applicants will be safely assisted to make applications.

In addition, all district offices and head office will serve as walk-in centres, it states. “A detailed list of decentralised walk-in centres with addresses and contact numbers are available on the department’s Web site and local media.”

The department stresses that all decentralised walk-in centres have been deep cleaned and sanitised. The centres will observe COVID-19 protocols aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

“All required documents must be submitted within seven days of making the application. This year, the department is introducing online uploading of documents through the Admissions Online Application System.

“Parents will therefore have a choice to upload the documents online to one school, which means that other schools will manage to access those documents in the system. Alternatively, parents may submit hard copies of documents to all schools applied to,” it says.

After making an application, the parents of learners applying for grade one are requested to submit an ID or passport, child’s birth certificate, the child’s clinic card or proof of immunisation, and proof of address within seven days.

Similar to the documents required for grade one, parents of learners applying for grade eight should also submit an ID or passport, child’s birth certificate, latest report card and proof of residence within seven days.

Safety first

The department has urged parents to make use of the online platform and refrain from rushing to schools or walk-in centres when the system opens.

The principle of first come, first served will not be applied as a rule. There is, therefore, no need for any urgency to apply at 8am on 25 June, according to the GDE.

“So far, we are pleased with the success of the online application system and humbled by the overwhelming response by the people of Gauteng. The process has provided several cost-effective solutions.

“Automating services and moving away from human intervention has freed up manpower from other activities and enables better utilisation of human resources,” notes Lesufi.

The department also appealed to parents to stay away from schools during this time, as schools cannot assist walk-in applicants due to the high risk of infection and spread of coronavirus.

All schools will, as a safety precaution, make provisions for parents to drop documents off at an identified area at the school gate, away from classrooms and office space, it states.

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