Gauteng parents rush to register learners online

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The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has received over 400 000 online applications for next year’s grade one and eight leaner intake.

While it initially planned to kick-start the online application process on 12 May, the GDE decided to postpone after a request from various school governing body associations. The department’s admissions Web site went live on 20 May.

Since the site has been up and running, 211 584 grade one applications have been received and 248 024 for grade eight, which is a total of 459 608 applications.

According to the education department, it recorded 226 019 applications in the first week of the site being active. “These figures simply indicate that we probably have about 100 000 spaces remaining at our schools, for both grade one and eight.”

The GDE urged parents not to panic as its technicians work to rectify the WA4 reference numbers received by some parents who reside closer to schools, instead of the WA1 reference. No parent will be disadvantaged, it notes.

“Parents are reminded to submit necessary documents to all schools, within seven working days, after applying. Schools must not compel parents to fill-in administrative forms, or require some supporting documents before accepting their documents, during the application period.

“The system for the admissions applications for grade one and eight will close at midnight on 22 July. Subsequently, the placement period will commence on 30 August to 30 September.”

Lesufi quick change

Meanwhile, there was public outcry over the redeployment of MEC Panyaza Lesufi from the GDE.

This week, premier David Makhura named the members of his new executive council, which sees Lesufi take charge of the e-government and finance portfolios in Gauteng.

However, Makhura’s decision was met with disappointment, with some South Africans describing it as a loss for the education department.

Some users took to social media to express their views, noting Lesufi should have rather been appointed to Cabinet instead of the new portfolio.

As education MEC, Lesufi spearheaded the GDE’s online admissions system and dedicated special attention to open schools focused on maths, science and ICT; engineering; commerce and entrepreneurship; sports and performing and creative arts.

Lesufi has been vocal about the advantages of technology in SA’s schooling system and how it can help produce a skilled labour force and change the country's historic reliance on traditional job sectors.

However, this morning, the Gauteng Provincial Government issued a statement from Makhura, announcing changes in terms of the education, finance and e-government portfolios.

This after the premier indicated he was giving serious consideration to the request to have Lesufi return to his previous post.

Makhura said: “While there is an appreciation of the appointment of MEC Panyaza Lesufi to the finance and e-government portfolio, the overall non-partisan feedback from society, the education sector and the movement in general is that it will serve Gauteng better that he remains in the education portfolio to continue the good work of ensuring our province is the leader and pioneer of educational transformation.

“Accordingly, I have now decided that MEC Panyaza Lesufi will return to the education portfolio as the MEC for education and youth development.

“I have further decided that MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko will be the MEC for finance and e-government.”

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