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Online school admission system for NC on track

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The new online system will be introduced for the first time this year.

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Education has announced that it will be introducing an online admission system from this year.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the MEC for Education, Mac Jack, said the new online system would be introduced for the first time this year.

“For the past two years we have been administering the admissions electronically to pilot the system,” Jack stated. “This new system will enable parents to enrol their children from the comfort of their home.”

He added that as the Northern Cape was a rural province, dedicated centres would be set up in each district to assist parents applying online, especially for those who do not have access to the internet.

“The online admission system will further assist the department to speed up the placement of pupils where school spaces do exist.”

The system was originally piloted by the Gauteng education department last year, amidst concerns from various organisations, including the Federation of Associations of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas), the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie (SAOU) and other SGB associations.

According to the department, the stakeholders had “pleaded” with provincial education MEC Panyaza Lesufi to delay the online admissions because the provincial education department was also implementing the amended admissions regulations and feeder zones for the first time.

According to AfriForum, the system also made no provision for parents to choose which school their first choice for their children was and the school located geographically closest to the parents’ residential address was simply provided as the primary choice, irrespective of the school’s language medium of instruction, subject selection or even hostel options.

According to Lesufi, the department was, however, satisfied with the progress of the 2020 online admissions placement process, although several parents had failed to provide the correct documents in their children’s applications before the November 30 deadline.

Jack said yesterday that officials from the Northern Cape department had visited Gauteng to “find out what their mistakes were and we can prevent making the same mistakes”.

Jack added that Gauteng had offered the Northern Cape the same system.

“The public must know that this year, we will not take late registrations. Placements need to be done before schools close for the academic year.”

Jack warned that parents who failed to apply for registration for their children, would not get placements. “Parents must apply in good time. The message we are sending out is that teaching and learning must start from the first day of the academic year.”