Most Grade 1 and 8 learners placed, Lesufi

The Gauteng Education Department has placed a total of 181 119 (81.48%) Grade 1 and 8 learners who had applied for admission through the online admissions placement process.

The online admissions application period commenced on 25 June 2020 and ended on 25 July 2020. The placement of these learners started on Thursday, 1 October 2020 and is scheduled to end on November 30.

Ahead of the placement deadline, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi held a briefing on Sunday (November 29) to give an update on learner placements for the 2021 academic year.

“Taking cognisance that this was done under the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and overwhelming challenges, this is a proud moment,” said Lesufi.

During this admissions application period, the provincial department received 105 326 applications for Grade 1 and 116 949 for Grade 8, bringing the total to 222 275 applications. 

From the 222 275 applications, a total of 88 503 Grade 1 and 92 616 Grade 8 are placed.

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. The second priority is siblings and applicants that are currently in Grade 7 at a neighbouring school.

Applicants of parents who work close to the school are placed only if the school has space available after accommodating applicants within the school feeder zone.

Learners who live within 30 km of the school and beyond 30 km of the school are accommodated last.

Currently 280 schools – 144 primary schools and 136 high schools- have reached full capacity and cannot accommodate any more placements. 

According to the provincial department, Benoni, Alberton, Johannesburg South, Lenasia, Roodepoort, Bryanston, Midrand, Centurion and Akasia are high-pressure areas.

To mitigate the pressure, Lesufi said principals of schools in high-pressure areas have voluntarily expanded their capacities to accept a total of 2117 additional learners combined.  

“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. To date, a total of 17 902 learners were transferred to schools with available space. Of these 2 210 accepted the transfer placement and 438 objected,” said the MEC.  

Unplaced applicants, including those that have been transferred and accepted, will be given an opportunity to choose their preferred schools from a list with available spaces. This functionality will be available from Monday, 7 December 2020 to Friday, 11 December 2020 on the parents’ profile.

Parents will have to login on www.gdeadmissions.gov.za using their credentials and on the landing page would be required to click the icon labelled list of school for with available spaces.

“We must emphasise that schools that are full will not appear in the list,” said the MEC.

The objections will be processed from 7 December 2020. Parents who decline placement offers will be afforded an opportunity to submit an objection within seven days of receiving an offer.

Dissatisfaction with the objection result may be registered by lodging an appeal. Both the objection and appeal submitted will be responded to within 14 days. An objection or appeal against placement at a school that the parent applied to will not be accepted.

From 16 December to 21 December 2020, the department will open the system for the 33 460 applicants who did not submit documents during the application period. These applicants must upload documents and then choose a school from the list of available schools. The documents will be auto verified and they will receive a SMS confirming placement.   

Late applications will be accepted

Parents who have not yet applied will be given an opportunity to submit their applications during the late applications window from 22 December 2020 to 22 January 2021.

Between the 25 and 29 January 2021 schools will receive and finalise the placement of children whose parents received a confirmation SMS. Parents will be allowed one application per learner. Only schools with available space will open during this period. 

“In view of COVID-19 and that schools are not accessible to the public, parents are urged to upload all documents online. The system will auto-verify documents and provide a response to parents.

“Parents will receive an SMS informing them to report to the school to finalise admissions. Schools will process parents’ requests based on the SMS received,” said Lesufi.

To accommodate applicants who are unable to apply independently, decentralised admissions walk-in centres will operate within all districts from 18 to 29 January 2021.

“We appeal to parents to be patient as officials work tirelessly to place all learners. Let us not lower our guard and continue to adhere to necessary COVID-19 regulations, and as such parents are advised not to visit schools without prior appointments,” urged the MEC.

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