Online school registration postponed after pressure from AfriForum and SSC

The civil rights watchdog AfriForum and the Solidarity Movement’s School Support Centre (SSC) were just informed that the Gauteng Department of Education will postpone the online applications to 20 May 2019 to make corrections to the application system.

This after AfriForum and the SSC joined forces on 5 May 2019 to send an urgent letter from their legal team to the Gauteng Department of Education regarding the failings of the online school registration platform. This platform would have opened on 13 May 2019 for the 2020 learner registrations.

“AfriForum views this news as an enormous victory. We also welcome the Department of Education’s decision to postpone the process and correct problems with the system,” says Carien Bloem, AfriForum’s Project Coordinator for Education.

“We welcome the Department’s decision to create room by postponing the process to correct problems with the system,” says Melanie Buys, Head of Systems at SSC.

Both organisations are concerned about the manner in which the online school registration platform is set up: According to the department and the trial system it makes no provision for parents to choose themselves which school is their first choice for their children. The school located geographically closest to the parents’ residential address is simply provided as the primary choice, irrespective of the school’s language medium of instruction, subject selection or even hostel options.

With this urgent letter from its legal team AfriForum and SSC asked that the system be adapted or the process be postponed until the system could be revised so that parents can indeed make a choice based on these aspects.

Further both organisations feel strongly that any learners already registered for Gr. R at a primary school for this year must also be given preference for Gr. 1 placement at the same primary school for 2020.

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