Online school registration slammed

Department of education offices. Photo: Thato Mahlangu

 

The education department’s online registration system is a failure, several Pretoria parents said this week.

They complained that there appeared to be no light at the end of the tunnel for learners still waiting to be placed in a school.

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Tumi Zimu, from Orchards, said she was still awaiting word on whether her grade 1 son had been accepted.

“I had been waiting patiently last year for the department to notify me if my son will be accepted or not,” said Zimu.

“But there has been no response from them and my child has not been placed as yet.”

Others criticised the website launched last year, saying it was not user-friendly and parents preferred registering learners in schools manually.

Education spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said the department was working hard to assist parents who could not access or did not know how to use the online system.

“We have opened decentralised venues, open from 9 to 27 January across 15 districts and head office, to assist parents with online registration and placement for the current year.”

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Gogo Sinotsile Maseko (62) said she struggled with the online registration system.

She was only able to complete the process after her grandson, who lives in Germiston, assisted her.

“I used my granddaughter’s tablet to apply online early in October but the system asked complicated questions and kept restarting so I could not proceed to the next phase,” said Sinotsile

“How can they implement a service like this, which only helps a few?”

In its first registration phase in April, the system faced some technical glitches which the department was heavily criticised for.

The department later apologised for the delay that was caused.

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Sunnyside resident Paul Marumo said he tried to register his child online in April last year, but decided to register manually after the website gave problems.

The school however, said it gave preference to learners who had registered online and all the spaces had already been filled.

“I was sent back and forth after that ‘mistake’, which was not my fault in the first place but the department’s.”

Bodibe said on Tuesday the department had recorded about 2 037 unplaced learners in the Tshwane region.

“This number is constantly decreasing as learners are placed daily.”

He said it was the department’s responsibility to have learners placed in schools.

“It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that every child of school going age is accommodated in our schools,” Bodibe said.

“That is why we developed an integrated learner placement strategy to ensure all learners are placed.”

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  AUTHOR
Thato Mahlangu
Journalist

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