GAUTENG MEC of Education, Panyaza Lesufi, says over 40 000 online applicants for Grade 1 and Grade 8 have been not been allocated spaces in schools for the 2021 academic year.
Lesufi was speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, where he revealed that 220 000 online applications were received but only 181 000 have been approved.
He said the department was facing a challenge of high number of applications and inadequate classrooms.
“Unfortunately, 41 156 parents have not received their placements. Of the total number that we have received of applications that 222 000, we have managed to place 81% of those parents,” said Lesufi.
“We are now left with 18% of parents that are not being placed. So what we need to do is to then provide answers to the 18% of parents that were not successful.”
The online application system opened on 25 June with some technical difficulties that the department said had to do with a One Time Pin (OTP).
Moreover, the whole system has previously left parents wanting as their children were at times placed in schools that they did not prefer.
At other times learners were placed in predominantly Afrikaans schools with the potential of creating language barriers for non-Afrikaans speaking learners.
“We can confidently inform that a total of 181 119 (81.48%) applicants are placed to date. Taking into cognisance that this was done under the strain of the Covid-19 Pandemic and overwhelming challenges, this is a proud moment,” said Lesufi.
Applications for online admissions for grades 1 and 8 started on 25 June 2020 and ended 25 July 2020, where parents were given only 7 working days to apply to schools suitable for their children.
“Parents started receiving offers of placement on 1 October 2020 and offers not accepted were forfeited after 7 school days of receipt,” said Lesufi.
Lesufi said with the 280 schools reaching capacity for placements, 144 are primary schools and 136 are high schools, with areas such as Johannesburg South, Benoni, Alberton, Lenasia, Roodepoort, Bryanston, Midrand, Centurion and Akasia being high-pressure areas.
“During the placement period and in line with the Admissions Regulations, priority is given to applicants who live within the school feeder zone closest to the school,” added Lesufi.
Applicants who did not get space at their preferred school will be transferred to other schools that still have space.
“It must be noted that 23% of learners that were not accommodated at schools that parents applied to, are currently being transferred to schools with available space,” said Lesufi.
Lesufi said parents of 17 099 Grade 1 and 16316 Grade 8 learners have not submitted documents during the application period.
However, the GDE has made available time for last minute applications, Lesufi confirmed.
“Parents who have not yet applied must note that the online submission system is scheduled to open for late applications on 22 December 2020 and close on 22 January 2021,” added Lesufi.
The department said between 25 and 29 January 2021, schools will be receiving and finalizing placement of parents that received SMS’s confirming such.
(SOURCE: INSIDE EDUCATION)