Gauteng in talks with private schools as it battles for student space

The Gauteng Basic Education Department (GDE) will reopen its system for late online applications as schools open for the 2020 academic year.

The online applications will open for Grade 1 and 8 admissions for 2020.

“The department will on 15 January 2020 open the system for late online applications, and close on 24 January 2020. Only schools with capacity will be availed in the system during this period.

“Applicants will provisionally be placed, until they submit documents to the school accordingly. No objections or appeals will be [considered],” said Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

According to the department, there is a total of 912 primary schools and 374 high schools with space available for late applications.

In an effort to assist parents with applications, from 15 – 24 January, all districts will operate as walk-in centres.

Lesufi advised parents who have not submitted documents to visit districts for placement.

“Districts are to place applicants and send parents to identified schools with available space to submit documents. Parents who need assistance are encouraged to visit the district offices,” said the MEC.

According to the department, the most common challenges reported at district offices include the following: follow-up on appeal outcomes; applicants requesting transfers to schools that are no longer available in the system due to capacity and relocations and placement in inner grades.

On placed learners, the department said it has received and processed about 700 appeals that were compounded by the implementation of the new Admissions Regulations.

“All appellants should receive their responses by [today] 14 January 2019. All appeals were carefully considered and fairly adjudicated. The outcome of each appeal is based on compliance with the Admissions Regulations and availability of space at schools,” said Lesufi.

The MEC said the challenge for the department is capacity, with parents reluctant to accept offered spaces for different reasons.

“Unfortunately, we can only accommodate a certain number of learners at our schools and as such, we call upon parents to accept placement offers as these are the only spaces available at some schools,” he said. 

To mitigate the capacity challenges, the GDE is in the final stages of finalising a partnership with Curro to accommodate learners at their schools.

“We are also interacting with other private schools to assist us,” said Lesufi.

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Gauteng in talks with private schools as it battles for student space