South Africa: Almost 300 000 Grade 1 and 8 Online Applications Received for 2020 Admissions - Gauteng Educ Dept

The Gauteng Education Department has so far received 289 370 online applications for admission to Grade 1 and 8 for the 2020 academic year, it announced on Tuesday.

The province's application and placement process went live on Monday.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said it had received 136 854 applications for Grade 1 and 152 516 for Grade 8.

Although the process has been described as quick and easy by parents, the department said there have been challenges which have been dealt with.

"Some parents received WA4 reference numbers instead of WA1. It was because the feeder zone maps were slow to load, due to the network connectivity, and as such parents opted for the schools within a 30km radius. This is receiving attention," Mabona said.

Mabona has urged parents not to panic as the department is working on rectifying the glitch, promising that no one would be disadvantaged, especially those staying closer to the schools they wished to apply to.

Among other glitches was the system logging users out due to inactivity. This was caused by the users being redirected to the map GIS system and parents were not able to apply for twins and triplets, he said.

"We urge parents to make use of Google Chrome, as our site is linked with GIS Map, which makes it easier with regards to the addresses. Google Chrome is faster and most compatible with the online application system," said Mabona.

Mabona said 10 schools have already received applications above their capacity.

He added that the department has also received complaints from parents, that some schools were compelling them to fill in their administrative forms before accepting required documents.

Mabona said schools are not allowed to do this, in this application period.

"The online application system is the future. It provides for a fair and equitable opportunity for parents to apply at public schools. We are humbled by the overwhelming support and response from parents. Once more, we apologise unreservedly to parents who were frustrated by the slowness in the first few minutes after the system switch-on," said MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

The system for the admissions applications for Grade 1 and 8 will close midnight, July 22. Subsequently, the placement period will commence on August 30.


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