Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha
Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha

Principalsin hot water for not using online process

By Tebogo Monama Time of article published Aug 23, 2016

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Johannesburg - Three principals are in hot water after the Gauteng Education Department found they did not use the online application system for the 2017 academic year.

“There are three principals that we will terminate or suspend or institute disciplinary hearing (against) because they are not following procedure. We had an online registration; they had their own,” Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi said at a media briefing on Monday.

He said the department now had to work with the parents to ensure they were registered on the online system instead of the schools’ systems.

This year, the department launched an online application system for Grade 1 and 8 pupils. Parents will know by September 7 whether their children have been placed in their schools of choice. They then have seven days in which to accept or decline the schools their children have been placed in. Lesufi said there would be no late registration in January.

When the online application system closed on June 1, the department had received 682 142 applications. There are 118 534 applications for Grade 1and 91 221 for Grade 8. The remainder are for other grades.

Lesufi said at least 44 percent of all applications for Grade 1 and 8 had been placed.

He said 29 575 applications were done on the website after the closing date. These would receive offers of placement only after all applicants who applied before the closing date had been placed.

“In terms of schools where we have high demand - the former Model C schools - things are on point. In terms of traditional township schools, the numbers are abnormally low. Some schools have not received a single application.”

The department was using the online system to determine schools’ performances. “Where there is high demand is an indication that there is learning and teaching. Where there is no demand it indicates that we have to intervene. Why would parents not want to take their children to your school?”

The online application system has not been without drama. Businesswoman Melissa Laing claims the department stole the idea she presented to them in 2012. Lesufi has denied the claim.

“No one came to us when the system was crashing and claimed this is their system. Now that it is working, someone claims it is theirs. It is unfortunate that the money to buy school desks or food for a learner I must now pay a lawyer,” Lesufi said.

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