Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi File picture: Oupa Mokoena/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) reminded parents on Thursday that there were only four days remaining to apply online for grades 1 and 8 for next year.

"The online system will shut down on Monday, 28 May 2018, at 24:00. Further, parents that have applied are reminded to submit the required documents at schools urgently. As a special concession, schools will accept documents only up to 14:00 on 5 June 2018. Failure to submit documents will lead to applicants forfeiting their positions in the queue," the department said in a statement.

"To date, a total of 535 064 applications have been processed since the start of the online applications on 16 April 2018. This translates to 251 808 applications for Grade 1 and 283 256 for Grade 8."

The GDE said that most of the applications were self-applications by parents that utilised the system.

"Approximately 18 000 parents utilised the 37 decentralised admission centres for assistance to apply on online.

"An unprecedented number of parents/guardians heeded the call to apply on time. Most of the decentralised admission centres were flooded on the first day of applications."

They added that based on the number of applications registered to date, there were 596 schools that had exceeded their available spaces.

"Some of the schools in these areas have recorded between 1 538 and 1 960 applications for either Grade 1 or Grade 8." These schools included Mondeor High School, Pretoria High School for Girls and Northcliff High School.

"There are 385 schools with less than 50 applications, 79 schools with less than 20 applications, and 69 schools with less than 10 applications. These schools are all located in townships. It is concerning that in the last two years many parents in townships waited for the late application period and flooded GDE offices in January to apply for their children. The department is moving away from late applications and parents who do not apply online by midnight on the 28 May 2018 are running the risk of having their children out of school in January 2019," the department added.

"The placement process will start from 18 July 2018 and end 31 October 2018. Parents should note that availability of space is the key determinant of how many children can be placed in a school. Placement will be conducted in compliance with admissions criteria and on a first-come-first-served basis."

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, said: “We are indebted to all parents who have heeded to our call and applied in numbers, the response from the public was indeed overwhelming. We encourage those that have applied to conform to the stipulated deadline.”

African News Agency/ANA