JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng department of education (GDE) on Monday reminded parents that the deadline for online applications for 2020 admissions into Grade 1 and Grade 8 was at midnight.
"We would like to caution parents who have not yet applied for admission of learners ... that they have exactly one school day to apply online," it said in a statement, urging parents to put in last-minute applications via its websites or to visit their nearest school, district or head office for help. The online admissions system went live on May 20.
"We are pleased that the parent population and stakeholders in Gauteng have embraced the use of the online application," Gauteng member of the executive council for education Panyaza Lesufi said.
"This ground breaking online application has provided the department with credible and reliable information. We will therefore continue to enhance this system and link it to other existing government systems, to further strengthen the credibility of the information attained."
The GDE said no late applications would be processed for 2020 once the deadline passed.
It said there had been a sharp increase in the number of applications for 2020 recorded when the system went live this year, with a total of 220,802 Grade 1 and Grade 8 submissions, an increase of 146,964 or 67 percent compared to the opening day of admissions last year for 2019 places, when a total of 73,838 Grade 1 and Grade 8 applications were registered.
As of last Wednesday, 298,003 Grade 1 and 8 applications in total had been registered for 2020.
The education department said for the first time, it had kept the application period open during the June/July school holidays this year, effectively giving parents an additional 15 days. Some 8,069 applications were registered during the holiday period.
The department however said it was disturbed that 62,028 of the 298,003 applicants had not submitted the required documents to schools.
"Parents will not receive offers of placement from schools where no documents were submitted," it warned.
To accommodate parents that could not submit documents within seven days of applying and those who applied during the school holidays, schools would accept documents until 2pm on July 31.
"No further extension will be granted. Parents must submit documents to all the schools that they applied to. When submitting documents, parents must receive a receipt to acknowledge the submission of documents accordingly," the GDE said.
It said challenges experienced during day one of the application period had been resolved. To facilitate a common understanding among all schools, the department mediated the process to manage waiting lists using a step by step guideline from July 10 to July 19. The process would ensure that waiting lists were adequately prepared for placement.
"In addition,verification of all schools' waiting lists will be conducted at district and head office level from 1 to 29 August 2019. During this period parents are urged to respond to communication from the department," it said, adding that the the placement period for 2020 admissions would run between August 30 and October 31.
"Placement offers will not be sent to all parents on the same day, as the department will be processing offers systematically daily in line with the order of application options outlined in the admissions regulations," the GDE said.
"Parents are therefore urged to remain calm if they do not receive offers immediately after the commencement of the placement period. Subsequently, they may make a follow up after 31 October 2019, only if they did not receive any offers of placement."
The department said parents might receive more than one offer of placement for a child, but could only accept one offer.
"Ultimately, the capacity of each school will determine the number of applicants that receive placement offers and the number of learners finally admitted to the school," the GDE said.