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Gauteng parents demand scrapping of online school applications

One parent said the online application process had made life difficult and that the Gauteng Department of Education seemed to have tried to fix a system that was not broken.

Parents and guardians queuing outside the Johannesburg Central Education District on 15 January 2020 where they are calling for the online application process to be scrapped in Gauteng. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of disgruntled parents and guardians are queueing outside the Johannesburg Central Education District calling for the online application process to be scrapped.

Many have been waiting in the queue since the early hours of Wednesday morning in a desperate attempt to find places for their children at schools.

One parent said the introduction of the online application process had made life difficult and that the Gauteng Department of Education seemed to have tried to fix a system that was not broken.

“We’re supposed to queue here for the whole day and then they come and tell us that they are not giving us a solution at the end of the day. So why did they introduce this online system if it’s clearly not working?”

Another parent said her child should not be spending what should have been her first day of grade 8 at home.

“We have to go back to the way of taking your kids to the school that you want them to go to. It can be a manual thing, not this computer system.”

While officials work to clear the backlog of online placements, there are reports of isolated disruptions at other schools.

Parents at Tholimfundo Primary School in Soweto have tried to close the school, claiming that the infrastructure failed to meet safety standards.

The school governing body said children had been barred from entering classrooms.

The deputy chairperson of the school governing body, Phemelo Keupilwe, said this was unacceptable.

“For now, we’re only allowing for administration to process registrations and issue books. Tomorrow there will be a total shutdown. Children cannot see what is wrong and we have to guide them to show them what is wrong.”

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