Gauteng education dept receives over 100 000 applications for Grades 1 and 8 in a few hours

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  • Online application for Grades 1 and 8 will run until 25 July.
  • Parents and guardians are allowed to apply to a maximum of five schools. 
  • The department is attending to issues experienced by applicants within minutes of the system going live. 

The Gauteng Department of Education has recorded over 100 000 Grade 1 and 8 online applications for the 2021 schooling year, it said on Thursday.

The system went live just after 08:00 on Thursday and by 10:15 over 68 000 were received.

By 12:30, 104 522 applications were received. 

But the process was not as smooth as parents and guardians would have liked.

Some of the challenges experienced by applicants included receiving One Time Pins (OTP) which the department had introduced as an added security feature. 

According to department spokesperson Steve Mabona, the OTP feature has since been cancelled. 

Applicants also experienced challenges with identity verification as well as the address validation of the system. The issues were due to the high volume of applications, Mabona said. 

READ | Covid-19: Find homeschooling information here

Other parents received confirmation SMSes with no attached reference numbers. 

Mabona said the reference numbers would be resent to the applicants by Thursday. 

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has apologised to parents inconvenienced within the first hour of the data free system going online.

The system allows parents an option to apply for a maximum of five schools.

Parents and guardians then have to submit their identity documents, proof of guardianship, identity documents, proof of residence and the child's birth certificate and clinic card within seven days after applying online. 

Online applications close at midnight on 25 July. 

The system usually remains open for three months, but will now only run for one month due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lesufi said in May. 

In 2019 the process was delayed and postponed after the department had to resolve concerns raised by the Federation of Governing Bodies of South Africa, the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysunie and other school governing body associations, News24 reported. 

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