Online school applications: What you need to know

12 April 2018 - 13:27 By Penwell Dlamini
Panyaza Lesufi Education MEC. File photo.
Panyaza Lesufi Education MEC. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Simone Kley

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the online system should be able to handle the demand for schools when the application process begins on Monday.

Lesufi said on Thursday that the education department was working with Vodacom to provide the platform.

He said that parents should start applying as early as possible to avoid problems at the beginning of the new academic year.

A parent can apply for a maximum of five schools per pupil using the options home‚ work‚ sibling and school of choice for Grade 1.

For Grade 8‚ the parent can apply using the options of home‚ work‚ sibling‚ previous school‚ school of choice and school of focused learning or specialisation.

Parents with children wanting special needs specialisation must apply directly to those schools as their applications also use medical records.

An application using home address‚ work address or sibling at the school will be placed on priority list A or WA. The rationale for this is to prioritise applications of learners closer to the school. However‚ when using the school of choice‚ the applicant will be placed on waiting list B or WB.

The language that the child is speaking at home will have no bearing on the prospects of the child’s application to a particular school.

Parents should note that while they can apply to any of the schools with a focus on specialised talent‚ the learner may be required to write an aptitude test or be subjected to other pre-selection tests.

Once an application is successful‚ the parent will receive an SMS. Parents are then required to submit the following documents within seven days to each of the schools.

These include‚ for Grade 1‚ ID‚ pupil’s birth certificate‚ proof of home or work address‚ immunisation card.

For Grade 8‚ the parent has to submit parents’ ID‚ pupil’s birth certificate‚ proof of home or work address and a report card.

Parents that have a Grade R pupil must apply online for Grade 1 even if their choice is the same school where the child is attending Grade R.

For all other grades (Grade 2 to 7 and Grade 9 to 11) parents should apply at the school. The online application is only for Grade 1 and Grade 8.

Applications close on May 28 2018. Placement starts on the July 18 and closes on October 31.

Parents must decline or accept placement offers within seven days.

“Parents or guardians applying from an internet café or any other public space‚ must ensure that they provide their personal reliable mobile phone number‚” Lesufi said.

He added that the system was able to handle 35,000 users in one second.

In the past most children would be placed before the beginning of the new academic year but then thousands are left stranded without schools come January. Lesufi admits that this is a persistent problem and is difficult to plan for.