Thousands of parents urged by SMS to register placed pupils

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School bags line the wall of a classroom. South Africa's maths and science education has been ranked last in the world in a recent World Economic Forum report.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng education department is urging 71,000 parents and guardians to respond to an SMS relating to school registration for next year.

The cut-off date for late applications is the 26th of October.

The parents have been allocated places for their children, but haven't responded to the department.

The department introduced online registration last year.

READ: School online registration system is 'ready for action'

When the school year began this year, thousands of pupils failed to be placed in schools due to late registration.

“We have placed more than 117,000 learners. Out of that, we have over 65,000 Grade 1 and over 56,000 in Grade 8. There's about 71,000 parents who haven't accepted their placements. Probably they have been placed at the second option and they're hoping that another SMS will come with the first choice no it won't. You must understand that education is highly regulated it's not an issue of first come first serve basis,” said Gauteng Department of Education spokesperson, Steve Mabona.

“It's about regulation, you might have applied at a certain school only to find you don't qualify as per the regulations to be admitted at that school. You must remember that the 5 KM radius is still in place. It's important for people to know that they may have applied where they don't qualify so take the option you've been given by the school. So that you then move out of the system of people who are not placed,” he added.