The Gauteng department of education will soon introduce a ranking system to rate schools based on several criteria which, it says, will assist parents in choosing the best schools in the province.
Speaking at the announcement of the online registration period for 2018, MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi noted that parents tended to shun township schools over former model C schools, regardless of the school’s pass rate and other quality indicators.
He said township schools in 2016 fared better in terms of the matric pass rate and that it was former model C schools that were “dragging the province down”.
According to the department, the number of no-fee schools – which are predominantly township schools – getting 100% pass rates had increased last year, with more than 13% of them achieving this mark.
No-fee schools improved their pass rates from 77.9% in 2015 to 79% in 2016.
Fee-paying schools dropped slightly from 91.2% in 2015 to 91% last year.
The criteria which will be used to rank Gauteng schools as of 2018 will include the pass rate, teacher performance and qualification and the performance of the school governing body.
The department has also announced several upgrades and changes to the online admission system, which will now only accommodate applications for Grade 1 and Grade 8 pupils.
The system now boasts six servers instead of four and will be able to accommodate 50 000 applications per second, which is double the capacity of last year.
Lesufi warned parents to use reliable phone numbers when applying online as they would only have seven days to refuse or accept an admission to a specific school before the placement would be given to someone else.
In addition to public libraries and Thusong Centres being available for parents without internet access, the department has also introduced 65 contact centres around the province for parents who needed assistance.
Applications will start on May 2 from 8.30am and close at midnight on June 12.
Parents can log on to www.gdeadmissions.gov.za to apply for either Grade 1 or Grade 8. Upon submitting the online application, parents will receive their waiting list number via SMS or e-mail and will be required to submit all their supporting documents to the relevant school.
These include ID/passport, immunisation card, recent school reports, proof of work or home address, birth certificate and legal guardianship.