Reitumetse Makwea

By Reitumetse Makwea

Journalist


Governing bodies call for improved school admissions system

The Gauteng department of education said it was aware of the general dissatisfaction on placements from parents.


The National Association of School Governing Bodies has called on the department of education to step up and ensure the 2022 placement and admissions system makes the process easier and less frustrating for parents.

This is after a number of parents in Gauteng called for the online admissions system for grades one and eight to be scrapped and for the department to consider using the old manual admissions process, as more than 57 000 pupils have not yet been placed.

The association’s general secretary, Matakanye Matakanye, said although the system could not be scrapped as the world was moving into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the department should improve its system to ensure placement of pupils.

“We are already living in the 4IR and it while it has its own problems, it’s us who must fix those problems. Going back won’t help us at all,” he said.

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“In the same vein, we are calling on the department to ensure that the system can be accessed and is correct so that parents do not get frustrated.”

The Gauteng department of education said it was aware of the general dissatisfaction on placements from parents.

But it was mainly due to the high volume of applications, which has put pressure on schools’ capacity to accommodate pupils and the massive delay in some parents accepting their offers.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said most of the schools desired by parents received thousands of applications, but were only able to accommodate a few hundred pupils.

“More so, some parents may have found that their other application options could have also reached maximum capacity and were not able to accommodate their children,” Mabona added.

“We have communicated this to parents and given them placements at alternative schools that have capacity.

“We have also given these parents an option to object to this form of placement on our www.gdeadmissions.gov.za website.”

However, he also said parents would not be allowed to object to schools they applied to, as the objection and appeal process occured solely on the department’s system.

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However, efforts were being made to place all applicants.

“We have identified schools in areas of high pressure across the province for allocation of funds to build additional brick-and-mortar classrooms,” he said.

“The administrative process has been started to transfer R240 million to build 229 classrooms in identified primary schools and 270 classrooms in high schools within the next two weeks.”