When Gauteng's Placement Period For 2024 Grade 1 & 8 Learners Will Commence

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The Gauteng Department of Education has announced the success of the online school applications process, and is now preparing to roll-out placement offers. Parents and guardians of learners in the province who were unable to find placement for their children for the 2024 academic year, will be given a chance to submit late applications. 


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The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has announced that the 2024 online admissions application period has been a success, accumulating 757 075 Grade 1 and Grade 8 applications.  

In a statement released on Sunday, 27 August 2023, the GDE said:

This translates into a total of 324 756 Grade 1 applications and 432 219 Grade 8 applications. This success can be attributed to system improvements over the years, which is necessitated by continuous stakeholder engagements and technological advancements.

These applications were successfully submitted within the prescribed application period from 15 June to 21 July 2023.

When the Placement Period Will Commence

From Monday, 4 September 2023, parents and guardians with complete applications will receive SMSes with placement offers to the contact numbers they used when applying. 

The GDE said:

We wish to announce that the 2024 Online Admissions Placement Period for Grade 1 and 8 will begin on 4 September 2023 and will continue throughout the remainder of the year until all learners are placed.

Parents/guardians will then have to log on to the GDE admissions website using their credentials to accept an offer as final or accept while awaiting other offers.

The Gauteng Education Department has advised parents and guardians to accept the school placement offer within seven days of receiving communication regarding placement.

Where spaces are available, parents may receive offers from all schools they applied to and the system will notify parents when there are no further offers available.

Applicants will possibly receive more than one offer and if one of the two offers is accepted, the other one falls away automatically. 

In the event an SMS states that a child has been placed in Grade 1 or Grade 8 at a certain school, this will be regarded as successful placement to the mentioned school.

Placement Offers and Acceptance Process

Parents have been urged to avoid playing the waiting game. 

Upon successful completion of an application and verification of all uploaded documents, applicants must wait to receive placement offers. The placement period will begin on 4 September 2023, during which placement offers will be sent via SMS to parents and guardians with complete applications. 

The GDE has explained that:

SMSes will be sent out on a continual basis from 4 September 2023 until all learners are placed. This means that not all applicants will receive an SMS on the first day of the placement period, but must expect an SMS anytime from 4 September 2023 and throughout the course of the year.

The department advised that if parents and guardians have not received an SMS, there is no need to panic as applicants are welcome to use their credentials to log on to www.gdeadmissions.gov.za to check whether a placement offer was issued or not. 

Placement Subject to Criteria and Availability

All placements are subject to the priority of placement criteria and availability of space per school. In cases where schools have reached capacity, applicants will receive transfer offers for placement at the next closest school with available space.

The Department has reminded parents/guardians that all placements are subject to the priority of placement criteria and availability of space (capacity) per school.

Transfer offers are made only after confirming that none of the schools to which a parent applied has available space.

Therefore, applicants that cannot be accommodated at schools they applied to due to the schools having reached capacity, will receive transfer offers of placement at the next closest school with available space.

Parents/guardians who are offered placement at schools that they have not applied to, have the option to accept or decline the placement offer.

Frequent Challenges with the Online Applications System 

Despite this year's success, there has always been issues that arise within the online applications system. These issues have to lead to complaints and frustrations from parents/guardians, as well as delays in placing a learner.

Several parents expressed their concerns earlier in 2023, when the system failed to allocate placements for some learners in a timely manner for the current academic period. 

These frustrations are not a new occurrence amongst parents, as complaints have arisen every year since the introduction of the online application platform/system, even if they've applied on time along with all the necessary documents. 

At the time, GDE Spokesperson Steve Mabona, said the Gauteng province has a capacity problem. 

Many parents would not be in a position to afford private and independent schooling, so that compounded to our challenge of capacity. But we've been working very hard to make sure that we prepare for closing the gap, in terms of capacity. 

Mabona added that each year, the Department goes back and improves the online system, in order to work out the kinks that are causing so much frustration amongst applicants. 

About 292 primary schools were regarded as high-pressure schools, and about 277 secondary schools were regarded as high-pressure schools, in terms of capacity.

Late Applications Occur Every Year

While it often happens that parents and/or guardians miss the application deadline, and therefore the Department has many late applications, one other prevalent issue is the fact that in January when schools begin the new academic year, there are thousands of learners still on the waiting list. 

Because of this delay, thousands of learners are still without a school, meaning they've missed out on almost half of the year's work already. 

In response, the Gauteng Education Department has taken proactive steps to address this issue, including the construction of additional schools to ensure that all learners can be accommodated without space constraints, which is welcomed due to the situation of overcrowded classrooms in South Africa's schools.

Luckily, parents and guardians of learners in the Gauteng province who were unable to find placement for their children for the 2024 academic year will be given a chance to submit late applications. 

Gauteng schools late applications for the 2024 academic year will open 11 December 2023 and parents will have until 21 December 2023 to submit their applications. 

Parents and guardians may have to submit the following documents with their applications within seven days of submitting the application: 

  • Proof of residence 
  • Certified copies of ID/birth certificate
  • Relevant medical records/special needs documentation for learners who require additional support. 

Contact the Gauteng Department of Education Directly

Parents and guardians who may have forgotten or lost their credentials must click on “Forgot Password” on the  admissions landing page and follow the prompts to regain access to the system. 

 

The Department has asked for patience, as this is a busy period overall.

Normally, high volumes of calls are received during the placement period, and all our offices experience a high number of walk-ins from parents/guardians. We plead for patience and understanding as our officials work hard to assist everyone.

Parents and guardians are welcome to interact with the call centre agents using the number: 0800 000 789 or via WhatsApp on 060 891 0361. 

 

Suggested Article:

Gauteng grade 1 learner holding her school jersey

The Gauteng Department of Education has encouraged parents and guardians to submit their online admissions application on time. This comes after the department's decision to extend the application period.

 

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