Whether your child is going to primary or high school, the pressure of looking for a school can be stressful. Although it is always advisable to look for a school for your child earlier in the year and apply as soon as possible, parents often find themselves in situations where their children are without a school in the new year.
WHEN YOU HAVEN’T APPLIED
The Department of Education has a period during the year where parents are encouraged to apply for their children at schools. But the application process is such that some learners are not admitted to the schools of their choice, often leaving them stranded in the new school year or applying late to another school.
Simphiwe Jele, a teacher from the East Rand, Joburg, advises parents who are looking for a school for their child at the last minute to visit the Department of Education’s website and check the department’s procedures.
“In most cases, they refer people to public schools because privately-owned schools have their own procedures. The online process checks the number of schools where a child can be placed at the last minute,” she says. ”
Alternatively, visit the department’s various district offices with the child’s latest school report to see if they can place them.”
REGISTERING YOUR CHILD BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
According to a life coach based in Pretoria, Karabo Chababa, most parents are not aware that they need to find a school for their child on time. Some don’t even know where to start.
“The easiest way for parents to register their children on time is to go to the school and ask for an application form. That is where you will follow the school application process. It is also now possible to apply for your child through the Department of Education’s website,” he says.
“Parents must avoid late registrations. They just need to look for a school a year in advance.”
SECURING YOUR CHILD’S PLACE
He says the reason the Department of Education launched the online admissions website is to avoid late applications.
“During the late application period, parents can also try to find out if there are other available schools in the area to avoid their children not going to school.”
He also raised a point that parents should not be denied access to schools to secure their children’s future.
“I understand that most schools accept students from their feeder areas. They take students who live close to the school.” Karabo adds that most schools can secure a place for your child if parents work in the same area as their school.
“Parents need to issue their proof of employment when applying for a school in the area they work. Also if a child is not a South African citizen, they can still apply to study in the country. You will need the child’s passport and study permit from the Department of Home Affairs,” he says.
DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO APPLY FOR YOUR CHILD
1. Original birth certificate and immunisation card.
2. The parents’ identification documents.
3. Proof of residence.
4. A bank or credit card statement not older than three months.