By Mumtaz Moosa-Saley
An interesting thread has been started on the Facebook page called The Village, and it gave parents tips for navigating the online application process.
As a parent myself, I can tell you that the process may be easy, but waiting for a response is nerve-wracking.
Most of us apply at preferred schools, and often schools cannot always accommodate your child. My child and I have had personal experience after the school closest to me rejected our application. But, I consoled myself, knowing that everything happens for a reason.
Here are some tips to consider when applying to schools online:
- Make a list of schools you would like your child to attend, pick at least three that your child will be happy to attend, especially for grade 8. Make appointments and visit the schools with your child, as it should be a decision agreed on by both parent and child. If you’re choosing a private school, you may need to apply online. Private schools have a selection process, so you should research the criteria, etc.
- Have immunisation cards, unabridged birth certificate, proof of residence and all required paperwork on hand so, on the day of opening, you are not caught by surprise.
- Be patient as there will be several applications and systems go offline, and processing can be slow. You will need to find out what the schools you’re planning on applying to need in terms of hard copies, as they will the registration number of the application online.
- You can select more schools, and three is not the limit, depending on the system.
- You don’t have to be the first; all school applications only start after completing the online registration. Once you have been accepted, you will need to call the school to arrange documents and the registration number allocated to the application.
- Be prepared for disappointment, as you may not be accepted at your chosen school.
- Some schools will invite you and your child to an interview, so prepare them as you would for a job interview. No child entering Grade 1 should be denied based on testing, especially at government schools. Testing is usually only done if a child is under the age of seven for Grade One to ensure readiness for the grade.
- Enquire about fees at the schools you apply to. In Joburg, government, fee-paying schools are overpriced, and fees increase annually, so ensure that you can afford and so on.
Please note that not all cities do the online process, so for Grades 1 and 8, you will have to find out depending on the province you live in.