Online registration for Gauteng school admissions postponed
Conservative Afrikaner rights organisation AfriForum and Solidarity Movement’s School Support Centre said they had been informed that the Gauteng department of education will postpone the online applications for admissions to public schools.
The admissions, which were scheduled to begin on Monday, would be postponed till May 20. This was to make corrections to the application system, AfriForum said in a statement.
A notice was also sent by a school to parents of this postponement, ostensibly to "sort out problems that were identified by some parents".
The Gauteng education department did not comment on Friday evening. The department said education MEC Panyaza Lesufi would address a media briefing on Sunday.
“This emanates from correspondences received from the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas), Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie (SAOU) a union, and AfriForum which threatened to stop the Online Admissions Application from going live on Monday, May 13 2019,” the department said on Friday.
AfriForum and the SCC said on May 5 that their legal team had sent an urgent letter to the department regarding the failings of the online school registration platform.
Carien Bloem, AfriForum’s project coordinator for education, said the organisation viewed this news as an enormous victory.
“We also welcome the department of education’s decision to postpone the process and correct problems with the system,” Bloem said.
Bloem said both organisations were concerned about the manner in which the online school registration platform was set up.
They said according to the department, the system made no provision for parents to choose which school was their first choice for their children.
The organisations said the school located geographically closest to the parents’ residential address was simply provided as the primary choice, irrespective of the school’s language medium of instruction, subject selection or even hostel options.
The organisations said in their letter of May 5, they asked that the system be adapted or the process be postponed until the system could be revised so that parents could make a choice based on these aspects.
The organisation also felt strongly that that any learners already registered for grade R at a primary school for this year must also be given preference for grade 1 placement at the same primary school for 2020.