At the start of the 2018 school year around 11 200 Western Cape pupils still need to be placed in public schools. At the time Western Cape Education MEC, Debbie Schafer, said that 3 200 Grade 1 pupils and 4 400 Grade 8 pupils still need to be placed in schools.
Mobile classes were increased in some schools to help alleviate the strain of overcrowded education institutions.
In a move to rectify the issue, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has implemented a new online tracking system for admissions.
Due to barrage of queries relating to applications for admissions, they have introduced a new online function expected to relieve some of the pressure, and assist parents with tracking applications for admission to public schools.
The function will allow a parent or guardian to check via the WCED’s website if an application, submitted to the school, has been captured on the School Admissions Management Information (SAMI) system. As soon as it has been captured, an automated email will inform parents, provided that the parent has supplied a valid email address. Parents can then log on and check their application using their child’s ID number or CEMIS number.
One of the main hindrances to placing children on time was late enrolment. The department has therefore set an early deadline for applications due to an increasing demand for places in the Western Cape Province. School admissions opened on Monday, 12 February 2018, for all public schools and will close on Friday, 23 March 2018.
The deadline applies in particular to children who are entering Grade 1 or Grade 8 in 2019, and children who are changing schools. Parents have to apply before the end of the first term of 2018 for 2019, to enable schools to process applications during the second term.
The department has to implement measures during the third term to accommodate all children needing places in 2019. Parents can access the new function via the WCED website as follows:
- https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/ and click on “School Enrolment FAQs”.
- click on “How can I check the status of my child’s admission application?”. Enter the learner’s ID or CEMIS number, and click “submit”. (https://wcedemis.westerncape.gov.za/wced/samiconf.html)
Parents/guardians will be able to view the status of the application and it is therefore vital that schools keep the status of applications updated. Schools must inform parents of the outcome in writing of their applications by 22 June 2018. Parents have to confirm acceptance by the end of the second term by 23 July 2018.
Minister of Education, Debbie Schafer said, “We urge parents to confirm acceptance by this deadline to avoid ‘double parking’, where learners are enrolled at more than one school, or appear on several waiting lists. This will make it easier for schools and the department to place learners who relocate unexpectedly at the end of the year, and late arrivals.”
The department also stated they cannot guarantee immediate placement for those who apply late, nor places at schools of choice for anybody. It is advised that parents apply at several schools, and not just one, as there is no guarantee that their child will be accepted at the one they choose.