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NC parents give online application system thumbs up

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Parents said on Monday that they are elated with the elimination of long queues at schools when they have to apply for placement for their children.

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PARENTS in the Northern Cape have indicated that the provincial Department of Education’s new online school application system is a move in the right direction.

Parents said on Monday that they are elated with the elimination of long queues at schools when they have to apply for placement for their children.

One parent, Joylene Marais, said the application process was not complicated. Marais added that she also made preparations in advance.

“I set my alarm for midnight but saw that the system will only officially go online at 9am. I typed in the website earlier and waited for the system to go online. I applied for Grade R and Grade 5 and the process was easy and completed within a few minutes. I applied at two different schools for my Grade R child and the entire application process was done in about 10 minutes. I immediately received my SMS that my application was being processed,” said Marais.

She added that the entire process was “hassle-free”.

“The process is easy and the steps are easy to follow. There is no complicated terminology that the average person would not understand. The new system will definitely eliminate the long lines and stress we had to endure in the past. We are happy that the Northern Cape has decided to go online with applications as other provinces had been doing online applications for years,” she said.

Another parent said that although the application process was easy, online congestion prolonged the application.

“The application process and instructions are quite simple. I logged on at 9am and as I was moving onto the next step, the system started hanging. I had to wait for about 30 minutes before I could finish with my application. I then tried to apply to another school, but the process was prolonged again. As I was about to complete my second application, I received an SMS stating that I must upload the documents required. I was baffled as I thought that the documents would be on the system since I already uploaded them during the first application,” she said.

She indicted her only concern was the time frame that the department had set for parents to apply.

“The application process is easy, however, the system is slow when there are too many people logged on. The department should enable logging in later at night in order to avoid congestion,” she said.

Another parent indicated that the only challenge she experienced was that she could not find her residential area on the system.

“I stay in Homelite, however, this area is not listed on the system. I then chose Homevale as a residential area. I am not sure whether there will be any complications as my proof of address indicates that I reside in Homelite,” she said.

The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Education, Geoffrey van der Merwe, urged parents not to panic as the department has taken all concerns into account.

“The system went online for the first time and the process was a success. Parents need not worry as minor challenges have been reported to the department. Parents who do have internet access at home can access the website any time of the day or night that is convenient to them. The time schedule is only applicable to parents who make use of the walk-in centres,” said Van der Merwe.

“The overall feedback we received from parents was that they were very pleased with the system.”