Parents fume as Gauteng online school applications start with glitches

Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi called for calm as parents fumed over technical glitches when online applications opened on Thursday for grade 1 and 8 pupils. File photo.
Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi called for calm as parents fumed over technical glitches when online applications opened on Thursday for grade 1 and 8 pupils. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem

Gauteng's online registration system for grade 1 and 8 pupils to be admitted to schools in the province got off to a rocky start with technical glitches reported shortly after going live on Thursday.

Applications opened at 8am and will close on July 25.

Some parents took to social media to air their frustrations about the online system — which came under heavy criticism previously amid calls for it to be scrapped — while the department asked for patience.

“Dear parent currently applying for #GDE2021OnlineAdmissions kindly note our IT specialists are aware of the long wait for OTP and are attending to that issue. The principle of first come, first served will NOT be applied as a rule. Let's keep calm,” the department said in a tweet.

All district offices and the head office will serve as walk-in centres for applicants. A list of decentralised walk-in centres with addresses and contact numbers is available on the department’s website.

“Accordingly, parents should take comfort that all decentralised walk-in centres have been deep cleaned and sanitised and Covid-19 protocols will be observed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.” said Steve Mabona, department spokesperson.

In adherence to Covid-19 protocols, parents were urged to stay away from schools which currently cannot help with walk-in applicants.

Parents were reminded that, following the publication of amendments to the admissions regulations and the feeder zone regulations in 2018, new admissions criteria were introduced.

“It is important to note that, according to the new admissions criteria, priority is given to applicants who live in the school’s feeder zone, and closest to the school. Parents are therefore urged to use the ‘home’ option to apply to a school that covers their home address,” said Mabona.

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