In this file picture, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Premier David Makhura assist parent Alinah Radebe during an online admissions process for Grade 1 and Grade 8 pupils. Picture: Itumeleng English
In this file picture, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Premier David Makhura assist parent Alinah Radebe during an online admissions process for Grade 1 and Grade 8 pupils. Picture: Itumeleng English

Gauteng online school applications split in two phases to manage high demand

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published Aug 2, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education’s online admissions application process for Grade 1 and 8 learners has been split into two phases to ensure that the high demand for school placement is managed more efficiently.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced that this year’s process would take place in two phases. “This year the GDE has introduced new changes aimed at improving the system and making the process easier and more manageable for parents, guardians and public schools in Gauteng,” Lesufi said.

The first phase is for Grade 7 learners currently in public schools applying to go on to Grade 8 and the second phase will be for Grade 1 and 8 learners who are not already in the GDE system.

“We used to open for everyone and we’ll get more applications for people coming outside of Gauteng and they elbow out the people of Gauteng. We are now starting with the Grade 8s and utilising the Grade 7 parents who are already in the system,” Lesufi said.

He said the second phase would accommodate parents and learners who were outside the GDE’s system, including learners from independent and private schools and learners coming from outside Gauteng and the country.

The first phase will open on August 10 at 8am and close at midnight on September 3, while the second phase will open on September 13 at 8am and close at midnight on October 8. Placement for phase one will then take place between October 15 and November 30, while phase two placement will be between November 15 and 30.

“To ensure access to applicants who are unable to apply from the comfort of their homes, the department has identified 47 decentralised walk-in centres in different areas where applicants will be safely assisted to apply,” the MEC said.

For the first phase, the GDE is pleading with parents to provide accurate parents and learner details to the schools where their children are currently in Grade 7.

From today to Friday, schools will verify and update the details of parents/ guardians, including cellphone numbers, ID numbers and home addresses.

“It is important that parents provide one reliable number so they can receive important messages from us,” Lesufi said.

The MEC added that parents and guardians must identify the top five schools they want their children to attend for both phases.

“Give us five schools you prefer in your area and, out of five schools, there is no way we cannot place your child. If you give us one school, you are creating problems for all of us because if the school is full it will be difficult for us to place the learners,” he said.

Lesufi added that parents should make these considerations based on the academic performance of the schools and not on their popularity and historical biases.

The placement criteria for both phases in order of priority are home address within the school’s feeder area, sibling’s current and previous schools, work address within the feeder area, home address within a 30km radius and home address beyond a 30km radius.

The MEC said the department was currently working to re-engineer the province’s system.

“We will reposition in a manner that when people make choices they don’t make them based on (the school) being a township school, former model C school or it’s a good or bad school.

“We have the responsibility to change those bad schools into good schools and to expand the good schools to accommodate more people,” Lesufi said.

The Star

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