25 May 2018

South Africa: Gauteng Online School Recruitment Highlights Tech Gaps

Johannesburg — HIGHLIGHTING the gap in comprehension of technology between urban areas and townships, there is a contrasting response by parents to the online application system the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has established to secure schooling places for children in 2019.

Ahead of the online admissions deadline on Monday, the response has been overwhelming in the cities with some 596 schools facing demand exceeding available spaces.

Schools facing overwhelming demand, in Randhart, Boksburg Central, Winchester Hills, Mondeor, Arcadia, Heatherdale, Ridgeway, Blackheath, Pretoria North and Wintersnest respectively.

In contrast, there are 385 schools with less than 50 applications, 79 schools with less than 20 applications, and 69 schools with less than ten applications.

The education department disclosed these schools were all located in townships.

"It is concerning that in the last two years many parents in townships waited for the late application period and flooded GDE offices in January to apply for their children," the department stated.

The department said moving away from late applications thus parents who did not apply online by Monday are running the risk of having their children out of school in January 2019.

At the time of publication, a total of 535 064 applications have been processed since the start of the online applications on April 16.

This translates to 251 808 applications for Grade 1 and 283 256 for Grade 8.

Most are self-applications by parents that utilised the system.

Approximately 18 000 parents utilised the 37 decentralised admission centres for assistance to apply on online.

Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng Member of the Executive Committee (Education) expressed indebtedness to parents who heeded the call and applied in numbers.

"The response from the public was indeed overwhelming. We encourage those that have applied to conform to the stipulated deadline," Lesufi said.

The placement process will start from July 18 to October 3I this year.

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