Ap­ply­ing on­line is the fu­ture, let us all em­brace it

Sowetan - - Opinion - Panyaza Le­sufi ■ Le­sufi is Gaut­eng MEC for ed­u­ca­tion.

“The new in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy... in­ter­net and e-mail... have prac­ti­cally elim­i­nated the phys­i­cal costs of com­mu­ni­ca­tions,” said Peter Drucker, an Amer­i­can man­age­ment guru.

In­deed, by re­duc­ing the phys­i­cal costs of com­mu­ni­ca­tions, in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy (ICT) is an in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful tool for par­tic­i­pat­ing in global mar­kets; pro­mot­ing po­lit­i­cal ac­count­abil­ity; im­prov­ing the de­liv­ery of ba­sic ser­vices; and en­hanc­ing lo­cal de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

That is why as part of the Gaut­eng Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion’s (GDE) strate­gic plan to en­gage and part­ner with par­ents, all ap­pli­ca­tions for the 2018 aca­demic year will be sub­mit­ted on­line.

Cen­tral to the GDE’s vi­sion are the twin poli­ties of “e-gov­er­nance” and “ee­d­u­ca­tion”, which the gov­ern­ment has pro­pelled to the fore­front of ser­vice de­liv­ery ini­tia­tives.

The GDE is work­ing hard to mod­ernise the de­liv­ery of in­for­ma­tion and gov­ern­ment ser­vices.

As an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment en­abler, en­cour­ag­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion of ICT in the de­liv­ery of ed­u­ca­tion has given us ac­cess to an ar­ray of in­for­ma­tion and knowl­edge un­heard of in the past.

We are in­vest­ing in e-ed­u­ca­tion so that chil­dren and their par­ents can grow with rel­e­vance and skills.

By us­ing the Ad­mis­sions Ap­pli­ca­tion On­line Sys­tem web­site (www.gdead­mis­sion.gov.za) which this year opened on May 2 and closes Oc­to­ber 20 , fam­i­lies will be able to reg­is­ter a child’s in­for­ma­tion, thus min­imis­ing wait times and pa­per­work as well as en­sure ac­cu­racy of in­for­ma­tion.

Apart from ap­ply­ing from the com­fort of their homes and of­fices, par­ents and guardians can do so at schools, district of­fices, teacher cen­tres and other iden­ti­fied sites.

Those with­out in­ter­net can visit their lo­cal com­mu­nity li­braries, where they would be as­sisted with their reg­is­tra­tion.

Peo­ple should also utilise free Wi- Fi hotspots in their ar­eas to lo­gin to the site and reg­is­ter for their chil­dren for the 2018 school year.

Upon suc­cess­ful sub­mis­sion of the ap­pli­ca­tion form, the par­ents and guardians shall be pro­vided with a wait­ing list num­ber.

Pri­or­ity will be given to those who ap­ply on time. Par­ents are urged to con­firm of­fers of place­ment ur­gently, fail­ing which they will lose those of­fers.

This new on­line sys­tem will en­able us to serve fam­i­lies bet­ter by eas­ing the reg­is­tra­tion process.

South Africa and Gaut­eng are not alone in e-gov­ern­ment and e-ed­u­ca­tion. As a coun­try we are a sig­na­tory of Con­nect 2020 Agenda.

In­ter­na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Union mem­ber states have com­mit­ted to work to­wards “an in­for­ma­tion so­ci­ety, em­pow­ered by the in­ter­con­nected world, where telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion and ICT en­ables and ac­cel­er­ates so­cially, eco­nom­i­cally and en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able growth and de­vel­op­ment for ev­ery­one.”

Of course last year the GDE came un­der heavy crit­i­cism af­ter the on­line reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem crashed.

All chal­lenges have been over­come and we hope that the crit­ics, who wanted par­ents to queue at schools like be­fore, have be­gun to re­alise the ben­e­fits of the sys­tem.

The on­line learner reg­is­tra­tion process is the fu­ture.

The fu­ture is pa­per­less. Let us all em­brace it.

(Gaut­eng’s on­line reg­is­tra­tion is cur­rently for grades 1 and 8 only.)

‘ ‘ We are in­vest­ing so that chil­dren and par­ents can grow skills

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