A new online admission website which aims to make applying to schools simpler for parents will be piloted at 350 Western Cape schools this year.
The Western Cape Department of Education (WCED), Minister Beverley Schäfer says the system may be implemented at all schools across the province.
“We hope to thoroughly test the online 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 rollout.”
The new website is being piloted for applications for the 2020 academic year and will provide a digital record of admission applications for the WCED, allowing the department to determine and eliminate “double -ups” in the system.
Among the selected schools to pilot the website are Camps Bay High School, Rondebosch Boys Preparatory School, Livingstone High School, and Mitchells Plain Primary School, to name a few. A detailed list of all schools piloting the website can be found here.
Parents and caregivers can find a link to the website here.
The pilot phase is necessary to test out the system and determine areas for improvement before it is implemented.
Pilot schools have been trained on how to use the website, so will be able to provide aid to parents wishing to use it to apply to schools.
The capturing process is similar to the current paper-based process, with two key differences: parents will be able to indicate their choice of schools in order of preference and be notified electronically via SMS and email.
The second difference is that parents will be required to submit proof of residence online.
Schäfer assures parents it will be a fair process.
“Schools will not be able to see the parents’ order of preference to ensure that each application is treated fairly.”
The application site system will remind parents if they have not applied to a minimum of three schools. Schools may require additional information from applicants depending on their individual admission policies.
“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.”
Parents will be informed when their application has been completed and will be notified about the outcome on June 7 2019. The final decision on where their children will attend must be given by parents on July 12 2019.
Submitting an online application to a chosen school does not guarantee a place there.
All parents are encouraged to begin the application process as soon as possible.
“I urge all parents to take their responsibility of enrolling their child in a school very seriously and I am hopeful that the majority of parents will heed our call to do so.”