Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the “people of Gauteng have spoken”, and the department has listened to the challenges applicants faced with the online system last year, and as such, changes have been made to the online application process.
“Notwithstanding the digital divide, using modern technology is a huge convenience for parents by eliminating the need to queue at a school to submit an application form,” Lesufi elaborated.
One of the key changes Lesufi and his department have made is the elimination of two-stage process of registering a profile and then later making the application. The process will now be a three-step once-off process. Parents will also now able to use a language of their choice when applying.
The department also announced that if the system cannot locate the address of applicants living in informal settlements, they will still be provided school options based on the address nearest to home or workplace.
“The department urges parents to start preparing all relevant supporting documents from today and May 2, in order to avoid unnecessary delays,” Lesufi said.
In order to assist parents that do not have access to the internet, 65 admission centres will be established Gauteng. Officials of the department will deployed to capture applications for those parents within admission operations centres.
In addition, parents can go to the community libraries or Thusanong centre to utilise computers that have internet access.
As of May 2, Gauteng department of education contact centre will extend operating hours from eight in the morning to six in the evening. On Saturdays, it will operate until two in the afternoon. Placement phase will start from July 24, 2017, to September 29, 2017.
The department is expecting 2.5% increase in applications for the 2018 academic year. The current enrollment for Grade 1 is 198 493 and the for Grade 8 it stands at 158 954. The projected enrollment for 2018 is more than 366 383.