Thursday, 7 April 2016

Making Sense of Public School Enrollments for 2017

It is that time of year again- time for school enrollments. We went through the drill last year, but as we enter grade 1 next year, we need to go through the admission process all over again- only this time there is a bit of a twist.




In previous years, to get into the 'better' public schools in Johannesburg, this meant queuing for hours before, sometimes overnight, to get an early number on the admissions list. Last year, myself, hubby and grandmother all queued up at different schools at the crack of dawn on a freezing cold day (which incidentally coincided with a massive electricity outage). This year, we may be saved from the queuing to some degree as the process moves online. 

Unfortunately, the process is not widely advertised and somewhat unclear. After hours of internet searching and phoning around nearby schools, I got a few conflicting versions until
I came up with the below and thought I would share it with readers who may be in a similar boat. It seems that the process is as follows:

1.  You log onto www.gdeadmissions.gov.za
2. Register as a site user. You can only register from 11 April 2016 to 18 April 2016.
3.  From 19 April 2016 to 1 June 2016 you can apply online for the school of your choice, using either your home or work address. You will receive a waiting list number via sms.
4. You then drop off all supporting documentation and proof of your application to the school. 
5. The school processes the remainder of the application. You will receive an sms once this has been processed. 
6. Wait and hope for the best.
 

(Disclaimer: I take no legal responsibility for the correctness of the information above, this is just what I have been able to establish with a bit of research).

While I am all for technology, I have mixed feelings about the new online system. On the one hand, not having to queue makes sense and in theory, the process should be more equitable as there is an electronic trail of any irregularities in applications. On the other hand, it has me worried about all sorts of scenarios. What happens if the system crashes? What happens if only some people can access the system or information is lost, gets hacked or some other issue is encountered? What about people who do not have internet access? There is also rumor that you will only be able to apply for schools in your direct feeder area (As opposed to before, where you were put on a 'B' list. All this has me in a bit of a panic.

Good luck to all who need to apply. If anyone has more information that I do, please comment below. 

UPDATE 13 APRIL 2016:

By now most of you would have figured that the system crashed on Monday and has re-opened today for registration. There are actual details as to how the process works on the GDE website now.

You can now register as a user on the system and also capture your child's details. (I managed to do this without hassle this morning after almost throwing my laptop at a wall on Monday, when the site was completely unresponsive.)

Please check your details again after it is captured as it seems that a lot of profiles are defaulting to incorrect provinces.

On Moday, hopefully we will all be able to submit the actual applications online. According to the webiste, applications open at 8 a.m.