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Still time to enrol your child, assures Gauteng education dept

Parents are assured their children will be placed to start Grade 1 or 8.

Parents whose children have not yet been placed at schools for the start of their primary or high school education still have time to enrol online.

Gauteng Education Department (GDE) announced in December that late online applicants for grades 1 and 8 can still be made until January 31 for placement in the 2024 academic year.

MEC Matome Chiloane confirmed the online application period has been extended to January 31.

Chiloane said the late application period applies to parents who have not applied at all, but warned them they would have fewer options to enrol.

“For these parents, they will not have the luxury of saying ‘I want this one’, we are simply going to tell them where the available space is. If you want your child placed in a school, here are the ones we have available and there are no other options.”

Chiloane said the ever-growing Gauteng economy was one of the reasons for the problems in placing every child at school on time, but added that parents who had applied on time would have their children placed when the academic year commences.

“Gauteng’s education system is growing very fast. We are growing at more than 30 000 learners a year, so you can understand the pressure on the system.

“It’s not an ideal situation that we’d like to find ourselves in as a province, but with migration toward urban centres in Gauteng, the system is growing. We are not building schools fast enough, so we find ourselves here,” he said.

The department has received 305 981 online enrolment applications for 2024.

Chiloane said 99.8% of the applicants whose completed applications have been placed and reassured the remaining parents their children would be placed by January 17, when the schools reopen.

“The thing about incomplete applications is the parents may have applied on time, but maybe couldn’t submit this or that document. We offer those learners a space but they still need to take those documents to the school [to complete the application  to enrol].

“The unfortunate part is these parents can’t object and ask for an alternative placement, the only ones that can are the ones with complete applications.”

He said the department expects the 2024 academic to be a greater and more enthusiastic one than last and is pleased with the progress made despite the hiccups.

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