Online school registration system in Gauteng chooses school on behalf of parents

The civil rights watchdog AfriForum is concerned about the manner in which the Gauteng online school registration system was adjusted for the 2020 schoolyear and will take legal steps should it violate children’s rights. This is the fifth year where parents must make use of this online system to register their children for grade 1 and grade 8 for the following schoolyear.

The online registration system once again doesn’t make provision for choice of language during registration. Even though you can insert your choice of language of instruction on the system, it doesn’t play any role with the placement of children. This year the system will also automatically identify the school that is located the closest to parents’ residential address and parents will subsequently have no other choice but to accept this specific school as their first choice.

According to Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng MEC for Education, the system was developed in such a manner that all schools must be accessible to all children – regardless of class, race or language – and that the so-called stigma of apartheid where certain schools are only accessible for certain children must be done away with. He also alleges that all schools will in future be placed on the same standard, so that parents no longer need to be fastidious regarding schools in informal settlements compared to schools in the city.

“AfriForum’s objection against these changes is that parents’ choice of language of instruction must not be excluded form the placement. Schools have been accessible to all learners for a long time already – race has not played a role with regard to admissions for a number of years now. AfriForum is also of the opinion that the right to mother tongue education must be protected for all mother tongue speakers in the province, and furthermore that the department cannot take the law into its own hands and decide on behalf of parents where their children should go to school,” says Carien Bloem, AfriForum’s Project Coordinator for Education.

“AfriForum cannot allow Lesufi’s political agenda to deprive parents of their rights to send their children to the school of their choice. Lesufi’s focus is most definitely not aimed at quality education. He is forcing down an ideological driven transformation model that is promoting English as language of instruction and subverting the rights of parent governing bodies, notwithstanding the fact that children’s education could suffer as a result,” adds Bloem.

The Gauteng online school registrations open on 13 May 2019 at 08:00

Parents are encouraged to register on the same day still, seeing as the real time of your registration will play a role in the placement of your child.

The following documentation are necessary for registration and must preferably also be handed in on the same day at the schools where your child is registered:

  • Copy of parents’ identity documents;
  • Proof of residential or work address;
  • The child’s vaccination chart and birth certificate; and
  • Latest report.

Parents must also take screenshots of the registration process, give a copy thereof to the school and also keep a copy for themselves to follow up on the registration process, if necessary.

Parents have five choices according to which they can register their children, but the first choice (school closest to your home) is determined by the system itself.

The other choices are determined by:

  • Siblings in the school;
  • Parents’ work addresses;
  • School inside a 30 km radius from parental home; and
  • School outside a 30 km radius from parental home.

Parents are in the meantime welcome to perform a trial run on the system at to determine for the time being where the system places your child as its first choice.

Placements will take place from 27 August 2019 to 20 September 2019.

Parents can email AfriForum directly at for any further information.

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