Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: SOWETAN
Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: SOWETAN

On Tuesday, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the technical problems parents experienced with the online pupil application system have been fixed. Lesufi spoke after unveiling a new version of the system at the provincial education department’s offices.

In 2016, hundreds of Gauteng parents complained about problems with the system which, in some cases, placed English-speaking children in Afrikaans-medium schools and in other instances placed children in schools far from home.

The education department introduced the system as a way to make the placement of pupils more equitable. On Tuesday, Lesufi said the upgraded system would see online applications for learners in Grades 1 and 8 become easier. The system‚ which will go live on May 2 at 8.30am‚ will now be "an interactive and easy website ... [that] people can go through easy without difficulty"‚ Lesufi said.

Upgrades to the system include:

• Multiple languages for application‚ unlike the previous year’s system which was only available in English

• A single-step process that will allow the application process to be undertaken from beginning to end within one session, rather than the three-step process that saw duplications of applications last year

• Recognition of multiple ID number formats to allow for potential foreign learners with non-South African ID numbers to apply on the system

• A collaboration between the Department of Education and the Department of Home Affairs that will assist in the detection of fraudulent ID numbers

In addition, 65 contact centres will be opened for those who do not have access to the internet to assist with applications.

While the system has received a number of upgrades‚ applications are still limited to Grades 1 and 8 only. And, like last year‚ parents will only be able to apply to schools within a 5km radius from their home or work address. This aspect of the system is being challenged in court.

The online system will be open until midnight on June 12.

TMG Digital

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