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WCED says technical issues on enrollment platform sorted

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By Tauhierah Salie

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says it has attended to the technical glitches on the online application platform, Oracle.

Amid ongoing placement backlogs, the department opted for digital enrolments which opened on Monday 14th March 2022 and is expected to close on Friday, April 15th 2022.

According to spokesperson Milicent Merton, at least 47 370 unique learner applications were received by last Thursday, of which 22 819 were for Grade Eight.

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Speaking to VOC Breakfast, she explained that several complaints were received within the first three days. Some parents reportedly hit stumbling blocks on the website, including ‘service error messages’. Millicent says that the issue has since been resolved.

“Prior to the opening of the admission site, our service providers increased the RAM and other enhancements to manage the application activity,” she explained.

“Last week they also worked into the night to improve the performance of the site. Despite the challenges that some of the applicants experienced, thousands of parents were able to apply,” emphasised Millicent.

Parents from disadvantaged communities have lamented the department and claimed it is not doing enough to assist those suffering from technological difficulties such as a lack of access to internet, or cellphones.

Although WCED staff will be on standby to capture paper-based applications, the department encouraged care-givers to go digital instead:

“From our side, we encourage people to apply online. But we know that some parents experience difficulty and we have a number of options available. For example, caregivers can go to WCED district offices (and) there will be pop ups at shopping malls and schools. Some schools have also indicated they will be availing their libraries,” she said.

Millicent further appealed to parents to maintain open communication with schools, which have different processes.

“Often, we find parents assume since the child is Grade R at a school (that) the child will go to Grade 1. They get a rude awakening when they find out they should have applied. Please find out from the school directly,” she appealed.

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