File photo: Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

Johannesburg - Parents have been encouraged to accept their placement offers on the Gauteng Education Department’s online application system.

According to Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, 71 275 parents are yet to accept their placement offers for the 2018 academic year. If they don’t accept them, they might lose the offers.

Since the placement period, Lesufi said, 117 081 pupils have been placed in schools and the department will close the placement period on October 20. This year the department received 285 834 applications by June 12, of which 157 369 are for Grade 1 and 128 465 are for Grade 8.

Parents who have not yet submitted supporting documents, like birth certificates, are encouraged to hand in these documents.

Parents who have already received their placements said unlike last year, when the system crashed, it was smooth sailing. Abongile Sigabi, whose son is going to be in Grade 1 at Rosebank Primary School, said: “My son is moving from Grade R to Grade 1 at the school. 

"The application process was very simple and the website was easy to navigate. When the whole process was complete, I received an SMS to confirm placement,” she said.

Another parent, Leungo Motaung, who applied for her son to be in Grade 8, said: “The process was easy. Immediately after completing the process, I received an SMS that I should send supporting documents to the school. I forgot to do this and the school contacted me to remind me to send the documents.

“I expected to struggle a bit due to reports on what happened last year, but it was simple.”

Lesufi said: “Once more, we thank the people of Gauteng for the overwhelming response to the online admissions. The early processing of admissions means that learning and teaching can commence on the first day of the 2018 academic calendar. The cooperation of parents will be highly appreciated.”

He said an announcement would be made on when late applications would be open once the placement period was complete.

Lesufi said parents who had still not received communication after applying online should contact the district offices.

The Star