Parents queue outside Parkview Primary School to secure a place for their children in 2015. Earlier this year, the Education Department opened the online application system for Grade 1 and Grade 8 pupils. Picture: Chris Collingridge African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education is still struggling to place over 54 773 pupils in schools.
The department earlier this year opened the online application system for Grade 1 and 8 pupils for the 2019 academic year.

They have since appealed for patience from parents and said they are working hard to place all pupils.

Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said between April 16 and May 28, the department processed a total of 282 823 applicants. Of those, 149 461 are Grade 1 applicants and 133 362 for 8 applicants.

"It must be noted that a total of 54 773 or 19.37% of learners  have not been placed, 25 913 Grade 1s and 28 860 Grade 8s. It is concerning that  about 34 109 earners have not submitted required documents as per admission requirements," Mabona.

The date for late applications will be announced soon, he added.

“The department is committed to ensuring that all pupils are placed on time and receive quality basic education.

“Once more, we take this time to assure parents that all online applications for Grade 1 and 8 received in April and May, will be placed.

“We call on parents to be patient as our call centre is inundated with a high volume of calls, which gives a false impression that calls ring unanswered.

“The reality is that call centre agents spend on average between 15 and 20 minutes on a call.

“Eighty percent of the calls received assist with resetting passwords, while 20% assist with pending district processing.”

For instance, he said on August 3 the call centre received 14 085 calls and 17 996 on August 5.

“All schools made offers of placement to parents from August 3, 2018, for Grade 1 and Grade 8.

“Qualifying applicants received more than one offer of placement in line with the number of applications submitted.

“When an offer is confirmed, all the other remaining offers are deactivated.

“The deactivated offers will create more spaces on the schools waiting lists for further placements to be offered to other parents.

“Parents who were rejected at all five schools where they applied and those who have not received an offer of placement will be placed by Districts,” Mabona added.

The Star