Gauteng’s new school application system goes live

Source: Boksburg Advertiser

The online system was introduced to make it easy and convenient for parents to submit applications rather than queue at a school. It has also provided accurate information to the department for planning purposes.

The online application for Grades One and Eight for the 2020 academic year will go live on May 13 at 8am and will close on July 15.

Parents are urged to use the online system and log on to www.gdeadmissions.gov.za

To make apply, parents should click on “Apply for 2020” and follow the prompts through the three-step process, namely:

Step 1 – Enter parent/legal guardian details
Step 2 – Enter learner details
Step 3 – Apply to a school

According to Gauteng education spokesperson, Steve Mabona, the applicant will be able to view, among others, the amendments to the admission regulations, terms and conditions and school feeder zones on the online system.

“At the same time, applicants can choose to listen to and view a step-by-step video tutorial and/or read a step-by-step user guide.

“Parents can also visit the nearest public school, district admissions centre, a community library or community centre for assistance with applying online.

“These walk-in centres will assist parents who are not comfortable with using computers, lack access to internet facilities or do not have adequate data.

“Our trained officials will assist parents in these centres,” said Mabona.

Applications are opened early to provide adequate time for planning of allocation of resources such as educators, classrooms and learning and teaching study materials.

Mabona said the capacity of the admission’s online application system has been increased to accommodate 50 000 simultaneous users.

Grade R
Mabona said parents or applicants with children in Grade R in the current school should also apply online.

“Applications for Grade Eight in schools of focused learning or schools of specialisation should also be made online. The system will show all schools and the applicant or parent will choose the relevant school and the reference number ‘WA6’ will be generated.

“The learner will, however, be subjected to an additional pre-qualification test at the relevant school, for instance by attending an audition at an arts school or writing a test.”

Furthermore, applications for boarding schools should also be made online. However, the applicant or parent must apply directly to the school for boarding or accommodation.

“Applications for Grade Eight at monastic, girls only or boys only schools should also be done online,” said Mabona.

Previous/current school will not be available as an application option. However, all Grade Eight applicants will indicate their current school.

“The system will measure the distance from the child’s current primary school to the closest secondary school. If the parent has applied to the secondary school closest to the current primary school, the system will place the applicant at that secondary school,” said Mabona.

Documents
Applicants and parents should submit the following documents to the school within seven working days:

Certified copy of the ID of the parent/legal guardian or a sworn affidavit in case the parent/legal guardian does not have an ID (non-South African citizens should submit a certified copy of their passport, valid visa or temporary/permanent residence permit/asylum seeker or refugee permit).
Proof of home address.
Certified copy of the child’s birth certificate (unabridged birth certificates are not required).
Clinic immunisation card if applying for Grade One.
Current school academic report and transfer if applying for Grade Eight.
Proof of sibling relationship where the sibling option is used.
Upon submission of documents, parents must sign a register to indicate that the documents were submitted and receive a confirmation of submission of documents receipt.

Placement process
Placement of learners by the department will take place from August 27 to September 20.

“Parents or applicants will receive an SMS notification of successful and unsuccessful application at the school.

“They have an obligation to accept or reject the placement offer within seven days. If a parent fails to accept or reject offer of placement within the given period, such a parent will forfeit the offer and it will be given to the next person in the queue,” said Mabona.

Mabona said spaces in schools are limited and are subject to how many learners currently in the school progress to the next grade.

As such, placement will be conducted on a first come, first served basis and on the following prioritisation:

  • home address closest to school within feeder zone
  • sibling at the school
  • work address within feeder zone
  • home address within 30km
  • home address is beyond 30km of the school.

The rankings are subject to the availability of space in the school.

Online system
The department has acknowledged that it has received criticism from some parents that the online system does not work.

“The department failed to communicate in time with the parent on the status of their application. We accept that the criticism is valid. Still, parents should understand that living closer to the school does not entitle a person to automatic admission.

“Placement will depend on the time the application was made and availability of space in the school. That is why we urge parents to apply on time to avoid frustration,” said Mabona.

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