Schafer added that the pilot project aims to test the system and to determine what areas can be improved upon for a province-wide rollout in the years to come.
"Parents can either hand in applications manually or they can use the system which is being promoted by the pilot schools. For all other schools, applications must still be made manually.
"We hope to thoroughly test the online process before rolling it out to all schools in the Western Cape in future. We have conducted internal tests, but would like to test it on a larger scale in schools before a wide-scale rollout," said Schafer.
Pilot schools have been trained on the website’s functionality, and will be engaging with parents on how to apply and provide support.
"The capturing process for parents is practically the same as the current paper-based process. The only major differences are that once parents have completed their individual school applications online, parents will be alerted via SMS and email to rank their applications from different schools in order of preference. Schools will not be able to see the parent’s order of preference to ensure that each application is treated fairly."
The system will also remind parents if they have not applied to a minimum of three schools.
Another difference is that parents are also required to submit proof of residence online.
Parents and caregivers must please note that the school may require additional information, depending on their admissions policy.
Parents are advised to contact the school beforehand or visit the school's website to check their admission policy and the documents that each individual school requires.
Schools will confirm on the online admission system if parents or caregivers have submitted all the required documents. They will be notified if their application has been completed.
Parents will be notified of the outcome of their application on 7 June 2019. Parents must then confirm their final decision by 12 July 2019.
It must also be noted that submission on the on-line application website to a school does not guarantee a place at the selected school. The WCED may be contacted to assist parents where all applications have been unsuccessful.
"We are excited about the pilot but tread cautiously when introducing any new initiative of this kind. More importantly, parents must realise the urgency of having their child enrolled timeously.
"I urge all parents to take their responsibility of enrolling their child in a school very seriously and I am hopeful that the majority of parents will heed our call to do so."
All applications for the 2020 school year in the Western Cape open on the 15th of February 2019 and close on the 15th of March 2019.
"This gives parents a whole month in which to prioritise their children’s applications for the 2020 school year. This generally applies to learners entering Grade R, Grade 1 and Grade 8," Schafer said.
The department encouraged parents and caregiversto apply early in this process and "not to wait until the last minute to apply".
Parents are also encouraged to apply to at least three schools, including their closest school.
The documents that are required are the following:
A transfer card/letter (if moving schools within or outside the province)
The last school report card for learners who have been to school.
A study permit issued by Home Affairs (if it is a foreign learner)
Parents who have not found a place for their child, should contact the relevant District Office. Please see below list of the official in charge of admissions at each district.