Gauteng education readies for 2020 online applications

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Online applications for next year's grade one and eight admissions will officially commence on Monday, 13 May, at 8am, and close at midnight, 15 July.

This is the word from Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), detailing the application and placement process for the 2020 academic year for the two grades in the province.

The GDE has been running its online admissions system since 2016, and despite hiccups in the past, Lesufi has urged parents to apply timeously to secure admission for next year.

After heavy criticism of the system's inability to handle multiple users at a time, Lesufi confirmed the department has increased capacity to accommodate 50 000 simultaneous users.

The department also faced backlash for failing to communicate on time with parents on the status of their children's applications.

"The online system was introduced to make it easy and convenient for parents to submit applications rather than queue at a school," said Lesufi. "It has also provided accurate information to the department for planning purposes. Applications are opened early to provide adequate time for planning of allocation of resources such as educators, classrooms, learning and teaching study materials."

Step-by-step guide

Parents should click on the link that says 'apply for 2020' and follow the prompts through the three-step process, which includes submitting the parent or legal guardian's details, learner details and school applied for.

Applications for boarding schools, girls or boys' only schools and specialisation schools must be completed online. Applications for independent or private schools are not covered by the online system and should be made at the relevant school.

According to GDE, spaces in schools are limited and subject to how many learners currently in the school progress to the next grade. Placement will be conducted on a first come, first serve basis and depend on the home address, work address and sibling at the school.

"Once the application is complete online, the applicant or parent will receive SMS notification with a relevant reference number. For this reason, applicants and parents are urged to use their own valid cellphone number or e-mail address. All communication with the parent regarding username, password and waiting list reference number will be conducted through the supplied cellphone number or e-mail address.

"Applicants are advised not to use the details of the Internet caf'es when completing the application. Parents are urged to store the logging details and reference number in a safe place."

Within seven working days of submitting the applications, parents should also submit the following to the school: a certified ID copy, a certified passport copy for non-South African citizens, clinic immunisation card if applying for grade one, current school academic report and transfer if applying for grade eight, and proof of sibling relationship where sibling option is used.

"Upon submission of documents, parents must sign a register to indicate that documents were submitted and receive a confirmation of submission of documents receipt. The department validates ID numbers through the Department of Home Affairs to eliminate duplicated or falsified ID numbers.

"In addition, schools will verify all information and documentation provided. Any falsified or incorrect information provided may result in an application being rejected or disqualified. In case none of the documents are available, the school will accept the learner provisionally. However, the parent must submit proof to the school within two weeks that they have applied for the documentation."

Learner placement will occur from 27 August to 20 September, said the department.

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