Back to school: Parents warned to be cautious when sharing children's pictures

Social media expert Emma Sadleir said one innocent picture could expose confidential information about your children.

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JOHANNESBURG - Parents sharing back to school pictures of their children online are being warned to guard against predators.

Many parents have been sharing images on social media of their little ones going to school for the new academic year on Wednesday - but experts are advising parents against this.

Social media expert Emma Sadleir said one innocent picture could expose confidential information about your children.

She said there were things to remember when posting online.

“Make sure you have privacy settings on your account, you need to limit who has access to those pictures. Make sure you turned off your location and don’t share too much information like where your child attends to school…”

Meanwhile, the online application process for grade 1 and 8 pupils has again come under fire from parents and guardians scrambling to find a school for their children.

As Wednesday marked the start of the new academic year, hundreds of parents queued at district offices in the hopes of securing school placements.

A Soweto woman said she had been to the Johannesburg Central District offices numerous times, desperately seeking help to get her granddaughter placed in a school nearby.

“We find it difficult to use our phones to find out whether our children have been admitted or not. The system should be dismantled and return to the system where schools take applications.”

A woman who still hasn’t found a school for her grandson in grade 8 said she felt let down by the government.

“We voted for them to take care of us, if my grandson remains out of school, what will happen? He will smoke nyaope.”

The Gauteng Education Department said it was trying to find schools for pupils in the province and was confident it would clear the backlog.

MORE THAN 10,00 LATE REGISTRATIONS SUCCESSFULLY PROCESSED

The Gauteng Education Department said it had successfully processed over 10,000 late registration applications for grade 1 and grade 8 pupils on the first day of the new academic year.

Thousands of parents queued at district offices on Wednesday in a desperate attempt to find a school for their children who were forced to miss the first day of learning.

The department's Steve Mabona said the number of available spaces at schools has reduced significantly.
“As parents are applying, we just want to emphasise that what you get is what is available on the system and once there is space, we provisionally place you and once they have been placed and don’t take those placements, we will avail those spaces.”
Mabona said that parents with children who have not been placed in school still have until next week to receive assistances from district offices.