Too many pupils, not enough places

FILE PICTURE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

FILE PICTURE: Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Gauteng education department receiving an average of 53 000 registrations a day.

The Gauteng department of education has room for 320 000 pupils in its public schools in 2017, but has already received 370 000 applications in the first seven days of the online application process.

Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi yesterday said the department was expecting about 500 000 applications this year and that proximity would take preference in the placement process. Lesufi said the department was receiving an average of 53 000 applications a day.

These numbers proved South Africans preferred online services for school administration, he added. He also said the department had worked tirelessly to ensure the registration process ran smoothly. In the past two weeks, the portal has crashed twice, leaving parents of mainly Grade 1 and Grade 8 pupils calling for the return of manual applications. The MEC admitted that the start of the online registration process had been bumpy.

“We have shared the pains and frustrations of parents who experienced various difficulties in applying for placements for their children in [more than] 2 000 schools across our province.”

Lesufi also said he was aware there were some technical glitches, such as the system giving an error message stating the parents’ details have already been loaded on the system, difficulties with addresses of some parents from informal settlements and challenges with the identification of foreign parents. The MEC said registration closed on June 1. The placement process will run from June 24 to July 25.



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