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Each year there is an outcry when the school year begins and many learners have not gained a place at a school. Often, the reason for this is that they had not applied for acceptance into schools on time.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) urges parents of Drakenstein to register their children early for the 2020 school year.

The entries for all public schools open on Friday 15 February and close on 15 March.

Parents will be notified of the outcome on 7 June, and they must then confirm their final decision by 12 July.

So parents are requested to apply at more than one school for their child, because there is no guarantee that an applicant will be accepted at the first choice of school.

This gives parents a whole month in which to prioritise their children’s applications for the 2020 school year.

This generally applies to learners entering Grade R, Grade 1 and Grade 8.

The documents that are required are a birth certificate, immunisation card or transfer card/letter (if moving schools within or outside the province) and the last school report card for learners who have been to school. A study permit issued by Home Affairs (if it is a foreign learner).

This year, the WCED will piloting a new online admissions website that aims to make the admission process easier and more accessible for parents, as well as less administrative for schools.

It also provides a digital record of admission applications for the WCED so that we can more accurately determine and eliminate “double-ups”within the system, says Debbie Schäfer, Minster of Education for the Western Cape.

A link to the admissions website can be found on the WCEDs website https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/admissions-201920 - under the learner enrolment tab.

Approximately 350 schools have been selected to take part in the pilot.

The pilot aims to test the system and to determine what areas can be improved upon for a province-wide roll-out in the years to come.

Parents can either hand in applications manually, or they can use the system which is being promoted by the pilot schools. For all other schools, applications must still be made manually.

“We hope to thoroughly test the on-line process before rolling it out to all schools in the Western Cape in future. We have conducted internal tests, but would like to test it on a larger scale in schools before a wide-scale roll-out, says Schäfer.

A list of the pilot schools is available on the WCED admissions page: https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/admissions-201920

The capturing process for parents is practically the same as the current paper-based process. The only major differences are that once parents have completed their individual school applications online, parents will be alerted via SMS and email to rank their applications from different schools in order of preference.

Schools will not be able to see the parent’s order of preference to ensure that each application is treated fairly.

The system will also remind parents if they have not applied to a minimum of three schools.

Another difference is that parents are also required to submit proof of residence online.

Parents and caregivers must please note that the school may require additional information, depending on their admissions policy. Parents are advised to contact the school beforehand or visit the school website to check their admission policy and the documents that each individual school requires.

Schools will confirm on the online admission system if parents or caregivers have submitted all the required documents. They will be notified if their application has been completed.

For further inquiries, phone John Goliath of the Cape Winelands District office on 023 348 6000 or 023 348 4604.

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