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Gauteng education prepares for online learner placement period

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Education and youth development MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Education and youth development MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) says the total number of early applications received via the online admissions system is low when compared to previous years.

This as the GDE readies to kick-off the online placement period of learners starting grades one and eight in the 2021 academic year.

The GDE opened for applications from 25 June until midnight 25 July, during which it received a total of 255 735 applications. This, it says, is a drop compared to the 310 350 applications received over the same period last year.

The Gauteng education department defines early applications as those submitted during the stipulated application phase.

The department notes there could be various reasons for such low numbers, adding that COVID-19 could be one. “Given the low application numbers, the province is projecting high numbers for late applications. The number of applications received in the previous years has confirmed a steady learner enrolment growth of approximately 2.5 %.”

According to the GDE, offers of placement will be released to qualifying applicants from 1 October, continuing up to 31 October. Schools that reach their full capacity will be identified and locked for further placement.

Furthermore, applicants that aren’t accommodated at the schools they applied to will receive offers of placement at schools with available space from 1 to 30 November, which is a process referred to as transfer placements.

The department stresses that offers of placement will not be sent to all parents on the same day, as it is processing offers systematically in line with the order of application options outlined in the admissions regulations.

Parents of learners who have submitted required documents for application to grade one and/or grade eight can expect to receive offers of placement via SMS.

Placement offers must be accepted within seven school days, failing which such offers will be forfeited. To accept offers of placement, parents are urged to log onto the GDE admissions portal.

“We urge parents to remain calm if offers of placement are not received immediately after the commencement of the placement period, as all learners will be placed,” says MEC Panyaza Lesufi. “In order to continue, to adhere to necessary COVID-19 regulations, parents are advised not to visit schools without prior appointments.

“Please note that an application to a school does not guarantee placement at that school. It is important to remember that the capacity of each school will determine the number of applicants that receive placement offers and the number of learners ultimately admitted to the school.”

The department has urged parents that have enquiries on placements to call 0800 000 789.

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