Online applications for the placement of Grade 1 and 8 pupils for the 2020 academic year in Gauteng will not go live on Monday as scheduled, the province’s Education MEC announced on Sunday morning.
MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the postponement was to give the department, the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African (FEDSAS), the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie (SAOU) and other school governing body associations an opportunity to iron out issues they disagreed on.
He said the organisations had asked for the postponement.
“These stakeholders pleaded with the MEC to delay the opening of the online admissions application because the department is implementing the newly amended admissions regulations and feeder zones for the first time. They believe that it is necessary to heighten greater awareness on the changes in legislation and admissions processes for public benefit,” the department said in a statement on Sunday.
“The MEC humbly acceded to the request and as such the admissions application period will commence on Monday 20 May 2019 at 08:00 and close on 22 July 2019 at 24:00.”
Replying to a tweet about the postponement, Lesufi wrote: “We were threatened with an interdict, so we gave negotiations a chance.”
On the contentious issues to be discussed, the department said: “Despite the department having constant consultative platforms involving all the stakeholders regarding the amendments to the admissions regulations and the feeder zones regulations, we note that all stakeholders accept the application of feeder zones but there are concerns that parents need a better understanding of how the new admissions platform works with the feeder zones and regulations.”
To improve the online application system there will be a “tutorial and step-by-step user-guide to clarify how the system functions and acquaint parents with the 2020 admissions processes,” the department added.
“This will include the amendments to the admissions regulations and the incorporation of the feeder zones. Parents will have a better understanding of the 3-phase admissions process: firstly, the registration and application, secondly the placement of learners and thirdly the admission to a school.
“The department will use various communication platforms such as media, direct engagements through localised community contact sessions to consolidate public understanding of all processes pertaining to Admissions 2020. Parents are reminded that schools and identified community centres will serve as walk-in centres to apply online for admission to Grade 1 and Grade 8 for the 2020 academic year.”