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

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the online system should be able to handle the demand for schools, when the application process begins on Monday.

Lesufi said on Thursday the provincial education department was working with Vodacom to provide the platform. He said parents should start applying as early as possible to avoid problems at the beginning of the new academic year.

A parent could apply for a maximum of five schools per pupil using the options home‚ work‚ sibling and school of choice for Grade 1.

For Grade 8‚ the parent could apply using the options of home‚ work‚ sibling‚ previous school‚ school of choice and school of focused learning or specialisation.

Parents with children wanting special needs specialisation must apply directly to those schools, as their applications also use medical records.

An application using home address‚ work address or sibling at the school would be placed on priority list A or WA. The rationale for this was to prioritise applications of learners closer to the school. However‚ when using the school of choice‚ the applicant would be placed on waiting list B or WB.

The language that the child spoke at home would have no bearing on the prospects of the child’s application to a particular school.

Parents should note that while they could apply to any of the schools with a focus on specialised talent‚ the learner may be required to write an aptitude test or be subjected to other pre-selection tests, Lesufi said.

Once an application was successful‚ the parent would receive an SMS. Parents would then be required to submit the following documents within seven days to each of the schools.

For Grade 1, those comprise parents’ ID‚ pupil’s birth certificate‚ proof of home or work address and immunisation card.

For Grade 8‚ the parent has to submit parents’ ID‚ pupil’s birth certificate‚ proof of home or work address and a report card.

Parents who have a Grade R pupil must apply online for Grade 1, even if their choice is the same school the child attends in Grade R.

For all other grades (Grades 2-7 and Grades 9-11) parents should apply at the school. The online application was only for Grade 1 and Grade 8.

Applications close on May 28 and placement starts on the July 18 and closes on October 31. Parents must decline or accept placement offers within seven days.

"Parents or guardians applying from an internet café or any other public space‚ must ensure that they provide their personal reliable mobile phone number‚" Lesufi said.

He added that the system was able to handle 35,000 users per second.

In the past, most children would be placed before the beginning of the new academic year, but thousands would be left stranded without schools come January. Lesufi admitted that that was a persistent problem and was difficult to plan for.