Language no longer a bar to school - Policy can’t keep kids out anymore

Parents of Grade 1 and 8 pupils in Gauteng are being encouraged to use the online school application  for 2019 at https://www.gdeadmin.gdeadmissions.gov.za. / SANDILE NDLOVU
Parents of Grade 1 and 8 pupils in Gauteng are being encouraged to use the online school application for 2019 at https://www.gdeadmin.gdeadmissions.gov.za. / SANDILE NDLOVU

Gauteng parents can choose which school they want their children to go to without being forced to select certain schools based on their demographics and language.

Today the online school applications for 2019 officially open for parents to apply for Grade 1 and 8 pupils around Gauteng.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said they did not expect any technical glitches because the system had been modernised to take up to 30000 parents applying at the same time.

"We only experienced technical glitches in 2016, but I can assure you that our system was enhanced on storage capacity and 30000 hits per second will go through without fail," Lesufi said.

Lesufi said even though the 5km radius determining where parents can apply for school was enforceable the department was consulting on a feeder zone policy.

This means if a school near to your home is full you can be referred to another even if it is outside the 5km radius.

Lesufi said parents were allowed to apply at five different schools and at any school regardless of the school's language policy.

The use of language in schools admission became a contentious issue earlier this year, with the department taking Hoerskool Overvaal, an Afrikaans medium school, to court for refusing to admit 50 pupils to be taught in English.

"If the numbers are convincing we will go back to the school to tell them to change their language," Lesufi said .

Parents can apply using their cellphones, computers or visit their nearest district offices.

"For those parents who are computer literate or don't have data, we have provided three areas of registration," Lesufi said.

"They should go to libraries in their communities or the nearest district offices, and we will also identify schools that will do registrations."

Applying happens in three stages; parent/legal guardian details, learner details and applying to the school.

The system also accommodates people from outside the country.

The applications period will close next month and the placement of pupils into schools will start on July 18.

The process will be completed on October 31.

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