Department of Education’s online woes
By Xolani Baloyi

Seven years into the launch of online registration for grade 1 and 8, the department of education
continues to experience challenges with their online system. The system was designed to handle large
volumes of applications. Does the system have the capacity to handle the yearly increasing application?

In 2022 the department said that “No Grade R will be automatically accepted into Grade 1 at any
Gauteng public school without applying online’. That’s not the case for a Mother of a Grade 1 student
who lives in Lenasia South of Soweto and asked to remain anonymous. Her son attended Grade R in
Harmony Primary School in Lenasia. She applied for her son for Grade 1 in Harmony Primary School 3
days after the opening of the online registration and submitted the required documentation, last year in
October she was supposed to receive a sms notifying her whether her son was admitted in Harmony
Primary School.

When the school reopened for the 2023 academic year she went to Harmony Primary School to check
the status of her sons application she was told that her son was admitted in Eldorado Park a suburb of
Soweto so she journeyed to Johannesburg Central District D14, to appeal to the districts for her son to
be placed in Harmony Primary School, she alleges that space is available for her son in Harmony.

She cites why the district, placed her son in Eldorado Park when they live in Lenasia and her son
attended Grade R in Harmony Primary School.

According to DOE placement will be conducted as per the following admission regulations

  • Home address within feeder zone
  • Siblings
  • Work address
  • Within 30 km Radius

A Grade 8 Parent who asked to remain anonymous said “that the Department of Education needs to
improve the online registration and be considerate for those the elderly who can’t use smartphones to
register for their grandchildren or the department should bring back the old registration system that
worked”.

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