Just hours after the Gauteng Department of Education switched on its online school admissions system, to admit Grade 1 and Grade 8 learners for next year, it had received thousands of applications. By 12:00 on Monday, the system had already received over 115 000 applications. Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi switched on the 2019 Admissions Online System at the Atteridgeville community hall in Pretoria on Monday morning. Within the first hour, 45 249 applications were received. Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said that they had worked hard to improve the system every year.In 2016, unforeseen technical "challenges" forced the shutdown of the online application system, hours after it went live, News24 reported at the time. The system allegedly crashed after experiencing more than 600 applicants per second. Last year, while the system did not crash, parents did complain about receiving text messages without reference numbers. Read: Please fix the system of online applicationMabona said, while there had been minor issues this year, such as home addresses not registering, the system was fully operational and applications had been flooding in.He added that parents were also beginning to see that applying online was the way to go, and as a result, there had been a massive increase in the number of applications received on the first day. "It's going smooth, most parents are aware of the system," said Mabona."The high pressure (popular) schools reached capacity within an hour." He said that a call centre, dedicated to parents seeking assistance, was also in operation and had been receiving around 400 calls every 10 minutes, since the admissions went live. "Call centre agents are clearing 60% of the calls."Mabona encouraged parents to apply as soon as possible and not to wait until it was too late. He added that the department was hoping that, in January next year, it wouldn't have to deal with a high number of learners that have not placed, because their parents did not apply in time. The online admissions are expected to close at the end of May.