Gauteng online learner registration crashes
The Web site created by the Gauteng's provincial education department to allow parents to register their children for 2017 online has crashed.
As at 11am today, the Web site was still down. The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) was contacted for comment, but did not respond by time of publication.
According to the GDE, from today parents can register, verify their details and apply for space for grade one and eight learners for the 2017 academic year using the department's online system.
Parents who do not have Internet access can visit help-desks in their districts for assistance, says the GDE.
"The department has opted for an online application process because it is convenient, easy to access and enables planning and fair distribution of learners across the Gauteng education system. Starting the admission process early is crucial to ensure allocation of resources, such as learning and teaching materials, furniture, human resources and infrastructure," it says.
"In addition, this enables teaching and learning to commence on the first day of school in 2017. Equally important is for schools to have sufficient time to prepare timetables, recruit teachers, and where necessary, arrange nutrition and scholar transport."
The department launched its online learner admissions site earlier last year to make learner registration tech-savvy as well as minimise long queues during the registration period.
According to the GDE, for the 2015 academic year it received 30 000 late applications, which resulted in the department supplying additional alternative classrooms to accommodate learners.
This year's online application process will work in three phases: registration and verification, application and then placement.
Parents were supposed to be able to register leaner details on the department's Web site from today. The verification process will require parents to enter an ID or passport number.
The second phase is the process of applying, which will commence on 19 April and close at midnight on 1 June. The application criteria include a school close to residential or work address, a sibling that attends the same school and school of choice.
"An automated SMS will be sent to the parent's cellphone number to confirm the submission of the online application. Once SMS confirmation has been received, it is important to submit all the required documents needed at the schools within two weeks," says the GDE.
The final phase is the placement of learners for the 2017 academic year, from 24 June until 7 September.
The department says the online application process cannot be used to apply for grade R and schools for learners with special educational needs.
According to the department, the move towards online learner registration is in line with the provincial government's commitment in undertaking radical and decisive action to modernise the manner in which government delivers services to citizens.
The Gauteng Provincial Government is driving paperless learning in the province and the GDE says it has taken a leading role in implementing various ICT initiatives.
To improve the schools registration system, the GDE launched the online application process to track admissions in all the schools, manage the applications and avoid duplications. The GDE's Web site also matches a learner with the school closest to their place of residence.
The department's site is also intended to act as a centralised database for planning and reporting purposes.