2020 online learner registrations postponed

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The 2020 online registration system for grade one and eight admissions will not go live today as previously indicated; instead, the commencement for applications has been moved to 20 May.

This was revealed by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), which says its decision follows concerns raised by the Federation of Associations of Governing Bodies of South African Schools, Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie and other school governing body associations in the past few days.

As a result, a request was made to hold off on the start of the online registration process, according to GDE.

"These stakeholders pleaded with the MEC to delay the opening of the online admissions application because the department is implementing the newly amended admissions regulations and feeder zones for the first time.

"They believe it is necessary to heighten greater awareness on the changes in legislation and admissions processes for public benefit. The MEC humbly acceded to the request, and as such, the admissions application period will commence on Monday, 20 May 2019 at 08:00 and close on 22 July 2019 at 24:00."

Commenting on the latest development, outgoing MEC Panyaza Lesufi apologised to parents who were ready to go on the system as soon as it went live today, as well as the inconvenience the postponement has caused.

The GDE has been running its online admissions system since 2016, and despite hiccups in the past, the department has remained resolute that the online application system is the way to go. It decided to introduce the system to handle large volumes of applications, as well as allow for a transparent and fair school application process for those learners starting grades one and eight.

When the department announced the official start date for this year's applications last month, it revealed the system has increased capacity to accommodate 50 000 simultaneous users.

Educating the masses

To address concerns that parents need a better understanding of how the new admissions platform works with the feeder zones and regulations, the GDE planned a tutorial and step-by-step user guide to clarify how the system functions and acquaint parents with the 2020 admissions processes.

The department indicated the awareness tutorial and guide will explain the amendments to the admissions regulations and the incorporation of the feeder zones.

"Parents will have a better understanding of the three-phase admissions process: firstly, the registration and application; secondly, the placement of learners; and thirdly, the admission to a school.

"Furthermore, the department will use various communication platforms such as media and direct engagements through localised community contact sessions to consolidate public understanding of all the processes pertaining to admissions in 2020.

"Parents are reminded that schools and identified community centres will serve as walk-in centres to apply online for admission to grade one and grade eight for the 2020 academic year."

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