Parents urged to be ready as online school applications open

Reliable contact details crucial

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says school online applications will be open on Friday.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says school online applications will be open on Friday.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The Gauteng education online application process for grades 1 and 8 will go live on Friday.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Thursday outlined his plan for the 2023 academic year online application process for public schools.

Lesufi said they had previously had problems with parents using unreliable contact details during applications, which hinder them from accessing information to use to allocate schools. 

“You will see when you log on that there are five phases. The system will send you an SMS that you are successful for the first phase, second phase until the last phase. We request parents to have a reliable number,” he said. “If you change that number it will be very difficult to track.”

He said parents can apply for a minimum of three schools and a maximum of five, adding that this was implemented after listening to feedback from parents from previous years.

“There are some schools where the demand is too high, so parents don’t want to just rely on that particular school,” he said.

Lesufi said parents would also need to register their address and learners details. He said parents must use their home addresses to make it easier for a decision to be made on which school will be best for the learner within the feeder zone.

Lesufi said certified documents can be uploaded on the system or can be dropped off at the nearest school. “You have seven working days or seven days where schools are open [to apply],”

Lesufi said parents will have the opportunity to apply to schools even if they are full because of concerns raised by schools.

“Schools have raised concerns with us that some people who apply do not qualify and if we blacken out [the school from further applications] we find the school stands empty because the majority of people who applied do not qualify.

“We have also improved the element of language. What we have done here is we will keep the details of the home language or language of teaching that a parent will prefer so we can determine where we can place those particular children."

Lesufi said the system can take 40,000 users simultaneously and 120,000 people within an hour. The system has had many glitches in the past, with parents complaining that they were not able to get in.

Over the years, many children have been left out of school for days, in some instances months, as the department battled to find space for them or they were allocated schools far from home. “We urge parents to be ready; there can be no excuse that the system crashed. Also, there is an excitement for the world of hackers and we have put in all the necessary system [to prevent] hackers,” he said.

He urged people to not use fraudulent documents such as fake identity documents.

Lesufi said their system is linked to home affairs and they will be notified of any fraudulent activity. He said schools of specialisations are excluded from the system because they rely on auditions and other methods to qualify for attendance. “From the third of October we will start to place learners until the 31st of October,” he said.

Lesufi warned that learners who are in grade R do not automatically qualify for admittance into grade 1 in their school, but must also apply. “This is because everyone must be given equal opportunity to access the school.”

He said there will be 48 decentralised walk-ins across the province for parents who do not have computers and smartphones. “The majority of them will be our district offices or education centres,” Lesufi said.

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