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School admissions set to open

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Each public school would publicise the date that the school will be open for registrations.

Picture: Matlhatsi Dibakwane

ALL PUBLIC schools will be open for admission of pupils for the 2019 academic year from May 7 to 31 on a day determined by the school.

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe, said yesterday that each public school would publicise the date that the school will be open for registrations.

Van der Merwe also explained that applicants for admission to a public school would be considered in the following order: if they have a sibling already attending that school (a sibling means a pupil who has at least one parent who is also the parent of the pupil already attending that school and he or she resides in the same household as that child already attending the school); if their parent is an employee at that school; if their place of residence is within the same suburb as the school; if their place of residence is in the adjacent suburbs of the school; and finally if places remain after all the above-mentioned applicants have been offered places, other applicants will be considered in the order in which their applications were received by the school.

In terms of admission to Grade R, the compulsory age for admission to Grade R is age five years turning six years in the year of admission. The minimum age of admission to Grade R is age four years turning five years by June 30 in the year of admission.

Schools must only admit Grade R pupils who are age five years turning six years in the year of admission. The Department will admit Grade R pupils who are age four years turning five by June 30 in the year of admission after all the age five years turning six years have been admitted.

For admission to Grade 1, the compulsory age for admission to Grade 1 is age six years turning seven years in the year of admission. The minimum age for admission to Grade 1 is age five years turning six years by June 30 in the year of admission.

Schools must only admit Grade 1 pupils who are age six years turning seven years in the year of admission. Schools are allowed to deviate by admitting pupils who are age five years turning six years by June 30 if they are currently in Grade R at the school.

The Department will admit Grade 1 pupils who are age five years turning six years by June 30 in the year of admission after all the age six years turning seven years have been admitted.

Van der Merwe advised that parents must insist on, and be provided with, a number indicating the sequence of their application.

“No school governing body or a school principal may authorise or administer any test, including an interview, related to admission of any pupil,” he pointed out.

“Schools may not use the academic performance, sport or cultural achievements, unpaid school fees, disciplinary record or process of interviewing of pupils to determine admission to a school.”

Van der Merwe stated that the school principal will inform parents or guardians in writing by August 20 to 24, 2018 that the pupil has been admitted to the school or has not been admitted to the school.

“Where the pupil has been accepted, parents/guardians must inform the school principal in writing within seven days after receipt of the notification that they will accept/decline the grade place at the school.”

Documents

The following documents are required for admissions: a certified copy of pupil’s official birth certificate/identity document; recent school report card; clinic/immunisation card of the pupil; certified copy of parent’s ID; parent’s legal relationship with pupil; proof of child’s residence; proof of sibling relationship and study permit/residence permit (for non-South African citizens).

Parents/guardians must personally register their children.

Application forms will be handed out at the school from May 2. All forms must be returned on the date as advertised by the school in the media.

Van der Merwe added that it was important to note that a dispute or appeal was not a guarantee of placement at schools where applications were lodged.

“Principals must inform parents and pupils of their right to appeal against the decision of the school. The parent must lodge an appeal within seven days from receiving notification from the school directly with the office of the MEC.”

The appeal letter (Form NCK – A5) must be accompanied by the following documents: a letter of decline from the school; and the sequence number, date and time that the application was submitted to the school.

“The district director will provide alternative placement options for parents if they do not appeal, if the pupils cannot be placed at the preferred school.”

Van der Merwe added that once a parent has been referred to a school that has space and provides the required curriculum, the case will be deemed closed.

“Late applications for admission will be accommodated where school places exist, but not necessarily at the pupils’ school of choice,” he said.

“Pupils whose parents have been transferred into the Province and or around the Province must apply directly to a school. However, no special treatment will be given to transferred pupils.

“Parents can obtain pupil admission forms and other related documentation at the school where they intend to enrol their child.”