It will officially open an online application system for Grade 1 and Grade 8 admissions in 2019 today and close it at midnight on 28 May 2018.

Department spokesperson Steve Mabona told News24 that the deadline provided ample time for parents to apply for placement.

“We need to sort out placement now. Remember there is a lot of admin and checks that we need to complete,” said Mabona.

“If parents do not apply on time, we will reopen the system, if the numbers allow.”

Last year, the department processed more than 90 000 applications and was able to place 90% of pupils who applied on time, according to Mabona.

READ MORE: Budget 2018: R57bn for free higher education over next 3 years

“Starting applications on time enables the department to plan around procurement and delivery of learning and teaching support material (LTSM) and school furniture. Further, this helps with the provision of educators as well as necessary infrastructure to schools,” the department said in a statement.

Parents applying for primary school placement can select options based on home address, work address or school of choice.

A parent applying for Grade 8 can indicate the current school that the child is attending. This will help identify the closest high schools.

An application using home address, work address or stating whether there is a sibling at the school, will be placed on priority list A.

Pupils from primary schools closest to the high school in the area and pupils with siblings at the school will also be placed on the priority list.

Pupils on this list also include those whose parents’ home or work address is closest to the school. They will get priority during the admission process.

READ MORE: #Sona2018 Ramaphosa commits to free higher education

However, when using the school of choice option, the applicant will be placed on waiting list. This means the applicant lives or works outside of the feeder zone.

Pupils who don’t qualify for priority list A will be placed on waiting list B. They’ll be numbered on a first-come, first-served basis.

“If you are placed on waiting list B, your chances of being accepted at that school are slim. We then invite parents to exercise the opportunity to apply for a different school,” said Mabona.

Parents who wish to send their children to a school focused on specialised talent should note that the pupil will be required to write an aptitude test, or be subjected to other pre-selection tests.

The department has also made provision for parents who lack access to the Internet or require face-to-face assistance. Parents are advised to visit one of the 65 admissions centres that will operate across 15 education districts.

The placement of pupils will start on 18 July and close on 31 October 2018. The Gauteng Department of Education emphasised that it was important for parents to confirm or decline placement offers within seven days of receiving the offer.

Failure to confirm or decline an offer will result in the offer being withdrawn.

Parents must visit to apply. Parents are urged to use Google Chrome to access the website, as it is faster than other browsers.

– News24