Veronica Makhoali17 January 2024 | 4:40

Disgruntled GP parents say Education Dept needs to scrap online application system

Though the 2024 academic year begins on Wednesday, thousands of children have still not yet been placed yet, resulting in some parents urging the department to return the placement mandate to schools.

Disgruntled GP parents say Education Dept needs to scrap online application system

An image of an empty classroom. Picture: Teka77/

JOHANNESBURG - Disgruntled parents in Gauteng, desperate to get their children placed in schools, believe the Department of Education must scrap the online application system and give the placement mandate back to schools.

While many children start the 2024 academic year on Wednesday, over 21,000 others will not see a classroom door because they have still not been placed.


- GDE placement system has taken away ability to choose what's best for children – parents

- Disgruntled parents say GDE has failed them as they wait to have children placed at schools

- Gauteng parents want admission pressure & overcrowding in schools addressed

On Tuesday, crowds of hopeless parents gathered at education district offices across the province seeking space for their children.

They claimed that their children had been placed far away from their homes, while others said the online portal failed to secure their spots in the classroom.

Despite the department insisting it made progress in placing pupils in schools ahead of the 2024 school year, not all children were placed, following snaking queues at some district offices.

Throngs of parents and guardians gathered in Soweto with last-minute hopes of securing a school.

“When we were doing applications, it’s not like I was doing a late application. This application was done on the second day they opened applications last year,” said one parent.

“They told me that there’s nowhere the child is placed, so I must come back so that they will be able to place me,” another said.

The placement of pupils was equally challenging in the Roodepoort region where parents vented that they should have the freedom to choose schools for their children.

“It’s failing because you must still apply online, and then you get rejected - they question your address, whatever - so I’m not happy with the whole system.”

Meanwhile, the department is expected to monitor the reopening of schools on Wednesday morning.