Language and proximity 'will be considered for school registration'
The Gauteng education department is accommodating some of the changes that were requested in its online registration for admissions to public schools for grade 1 and grade 8 learners next year, says AfriForum.
The department had initially planned to open the online registrations this Monday May 13. However, the department postponed the opening until next Monday May 20, following letters by AfriForum, the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) and Solidarity Movement's School Support Centre (SCC) alerting the department to the failings in its online registration platform.
In its letter to the department dated May 5, AfriForum expressed concern about the manner in which the online registration platform was set up. It alleged that the system made no provision for parents to choose what school was their first choice for their children.
Instead it said the school located geographically closest to the parents' residential address was automatically provided as the primary choice - irrespective of other factors such as the school's medium of instruction, subject selection or hostel options.
On Wednesday, AfriForum's project co-ordinator for education Carien Bloem said it had received a letter from the department's legal representative saying that language and subject selection would now be considered when parents registered their children.
"The parents can also choose any school within a 30km radius of their residential address, while with the previous system they had to choose the school closest to their address," said Bloem.
The department said online registration would open next Monday and close on July 22.