Parents who still have not secured a place for their Grade 1 and 8 still have time to do so. The Department of Education in the province has opened the late registration period as of Tuesday this week until January 18.
While parents looking for space will be able to apply online and submit the necessary documents, walk-in centres will only be open on the last day to assist parents who are still struggling.
The department urged parents who could not apply during the June and July application period, to visit its online portal to apply.
Due to interruptions caused by the national lockdown, the department announced that this year, instead of the normal three months’ application period, it had narrowed down the registration to only one month.
Department spokesperson Steve Mabona said unfortunately, the new application period was not available to parents who had already applied in the June and July period. Attempts to do so would be futile as the system would not allow them.
“Parents of unplaced learners may continue to choose available schools in the system, and only those who could not upload documents may also do so accordingly.”
General secretary for the National Association of School Governing Bodies, Matakanye Matakanye, said they had received numerous complaints from parents still struggling to make use of the system or get their children placed for next year.
He said opening and closing of the registration period had left many parents frustrated and confused.
Matakanye said, however, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on delaying the registration period should not be underestimated.
And while issues raised last year by the federation surrounding feeder zones and language restrictions still needed to be addressed, Matakanye said the most important focus, for now was ensuring all children were placed on time.
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi added: “Our officials are working tirelessly to place all learners in our schools. We wish to reiterate that placement is prioritised based on the home address closest to the school within the school feeder zone, pending availability of space.
“Unfortunately, schools that have reached capacity cannot accommodate more learners, however, alternative space will be offered.”
Mabona added that even with interruptions, this year had been better than previous years where they had 50 000 learners still unplaced during this time.
He said the department was hoping that opening up the late registration well into the new year would make things easier for parents.