Education MEC Barbara Creecy hands out pamphlets about school admissions at Park Station. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha

Johannesburg - The race is on for space in Gauteng public schools. Applications for admission to the province’s public schools for next year have opened, and parents can collect application forms from their nearest school this week and return them from next Tuesday.

Education MEC Barbara Creecy began the public school admissions campaign at Joburg’s Park station on Monday morning. She targeted train commuters by handing out leaflets with application information.

“There is high demand for space in Gauteng schools. We have over 2 000 public schools that accommodate 1.9 million learners. Apply early so we can accommodate you,” she said.

Those who wish to apply have until April 27 to collect application forms.

Schools will accept application forms with the other required documents, from next Tuesday until May 27.

When submitting the application forms, schools must give parents a waiting list number.

Parents whose residential and/or work addresses are within a 5km radius of the school will be placed on waiting list A.

If the applicant is outside this feeder zone, their name will be on waiting list B. The placement process gives priority to children on waiting list A, and if there’s still space after these children have been placed in the school, those on waiting list B, in accordance with their waiting list number, will then be placed.

Creecy said the department was starting the application process this early to have enough time to process late applications - a chronic issue the department has to deal with every year because of migration into the province.

The department had processed 20 000 late applications this year, up from 15 000 at the beginning of last year.

“The more people we can get to register on time, the better prepared we can be for next year. It helps us with things like ordering of textbooks,” she MEC added.

Creecy said processing applications early would also enable the department to channel pupils into the new schools currently under construction.

The department’s spokeswoman, Phumla Sekhonyane, said 13 new schools would be ready for the new intake in January.

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The Star