The Gauteng Department of Education has polished its admissions website for faster and easier navigation and to accommodate parents of different languages, following challenges faced in 2016 and this year.

The department proclaimed the opening dates for online applications between May and October. Grades one and eight remain the only ones legible for use on the site.

Parents of kids going to grades two – six and nine to 11 can go to their nearest school.

The department took complaints submitted to them in account and have implemented the following changes:

• The application process will be a three-step once off process, the the two-stage process of registering a profile and then later doing the application has been eliminated.
• A more interactive and easy to use website
• Language choice options, that is a parent can select a language that they want to use to apply.
• If the system cannot locate the address due to the parent living in an informal settlements, the system will still provide school options based on the address nearest to home or workplace.
• The capacity of the system has been improved to cope with the traffic.

A video tutorial, picture step-by-step guide and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for immediate guidance and reference will be available on the website.

After logging on the system the parent should follow the following steps:

1. Enter parent’s details.
2. Enter pupil’s details.
3. Select a school.
4. Click apply

Upon submitting the online application form, parents will receive their waiting list number via SMS or email and will be required to submit all their supporting documents to the relevant school.

Supporting documents include: ID/Passport, immunisation card, most recent school reports, proof of work or home address, birth certificate, legal guardianship, among others.

The department has urged parents to start preparing all relevant supporting documents from today and 2nd May, in order to avoid unnecessary delays.

At least 65 admission centres will be established across Gauteng to assist parents that do not have access to internet. Department officials will be deployed to these centres to assist parents.

Parents can also go to their community library or Thusanong centre to utilise computers that have internet.

Placement of those who apply on time will start from 24th July to 29th September. Parents will receive an SMS notification or letter from the school informing them that their application has been successful or otherwise. Those given offers of placement have seven working days to accept or reject the offer.

“As of 2nd May, our contact centre will extend operating hours from 08:00 – 18:00 on weekdays and until 14:00 on Saturday in order to assist parents as required,” Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi said.

A parent who wishes to apply for grade eight at a school of specialisation can do so online. However, they should note that there are additional requirements that must be adhered to. For example a learner may be required to write an admission test or subjected to an aptitude test,” he added.

Applications to schools accommodating learners with special education needs (LSEN) will not be processed online. Parents are advised to visit the nearest district to apply for a child with special education needs.

Lesufi said the promise the department was making to the people of Gauteng is that it will work tirelessly to ensure a smooth application process. This will include finalisation of placement for parents that apply on time.

“Our vision is to ensure that majority of learners study nearer to home for obvious efficiency and safety reasons. For that reason, we are making strides to ensure all our schools are sites of excellence,” he said