Applying for school easy as A, B, C


Gauteng’s education online applicatio­n system has frustrated parents for the five years since it was establishe­d. When it was introduced in 2016, the aim was to easily and transparen­tly handle the large number of applicatio­ns the province gets.

However, problems each year led to protests and angry parents in snaking queues outside the department’s offices. The frustratio­ns would start mid-year, when applicatio­ns opened, right through to February.

It was a relief to hear that this year close to 90% of pupils who applied through the system have already been placed.

Gauteng MEC Matome Chiloane told the press at a briefing on Sunday that a total of 256,248 (87.71%) applicants were allocated schools while 35,897 (12.29%) were not placed yet.

The department has not received acceptance from 5,485 applicants who were offered placement. These include 1,868 grade 1s with the remainder due to start secondary schooling. Chiloane said the pupils would be automatica­lly placed by the system on November 30. The system would reopen for late applicatio­ns on December 20 to January 20. We have written extensivel­y on this page about challenges faced by the system, calling for it to be reviewed.

Some pupils would end up missing a couple of weeks of the academic year as they waited to be placed. That was a burden for pupils to not only adjust in a new school but also catch up on the work already done by classmates.

The delays also saw parents missing work to go to the district office to enquire about their applicatio­ns.

We are pleased to see an improvemen­t this year. For the first time there were no stories in the media of angry parents complainin­g about the system. We hope the over 35,000 still to be placed and the late applicants will also be handled smoothly.

As the mid-year applicatio­ns were processed quietly and successful­ly, let the department do the same in January. No chaos of pickets outside the offices and children missing classes.

We also call on parents to accept placements to the next closest school to their homes, as our preferred facilities are not always available due to space constraint­s.

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