Registering for online schooling: What parents need to know

Online schooling has seen a surge as an alternative schooling option for a number of reasons, including the failure by traditional schools to prepare students adequately for the future, and the ongoing shortage of quality traditional schools. With online schools and e-learning, digital technologies are increasingly used to deliver lessons to children at home all over the globe.

In South Africa, parents are required to apply for exemption from school attendance if their child is Grade 1 to Grade 9 by registering their children for online schooling. Brainline CEO, Coleen Cronje, says the process is not as daunting as it might seem.

Many parents who would like to enrol for online schooling are deterred by the notion of having to apply for exemption to have their children schooled at home. This is, however, not such a complicated process. Parents who would like to online school their children simply need to apply to the head of the Provincial Education Department,” she says.

Cronje says the application can be made electronically without any additional cost.

The application process might take up to 30 days to be processed, but learners are allowed to continue online schooling during this period. There is also no cost involved in registering your child,” Cronje explains.

Parents need to submit the following documentation during registration:

  • Parent/s certified copy of ID
  • In case of foreign nationals, certified copies of passport / study permit / work permit / Asylum document are required
  • Copy of latest school report (if the child was in school before, but if the child is only starting school now, you must attach an immunisation card)
  • Weekly timetable, which includes contact time per day
  • Breakdown of terms per year (196 days per year)
  • Learning programme
  • Certified copy of child’s birth certificate

Cronje says online school parents need to ensure that they adhere to a number of requirements, including that the lessons offered to the learners fall within the scope of the compulsory phases of education. (Source:

The application must be done for Grade 1 through to Grade 9. The grades are categorised as follows; foundation phase for Grade 1-3, intermediate phase for Grade 4-6, and senior phase for Grade 7-9. There is also a list of records that the parents need to keep as portfolio of evidence, which includes, amongst others,  record of attendance, portfolio of work, portfolio of the educational support given to the child, evidence of the continuous assessment of the child’s work, evidence of the assessment and or examination at the end of each year, and evidence at the end of Grade 3, 6 and 9 that shows whether your child has achieved the outcomes for these grades.”

Cronje says when learners enrol with online education providers such as Brainline, these requirements are already adhered to within the annual curriculum.

But how involved should working parents be once they’ve enrolled their kids for home schooling?

While our Junior School provides excellent support, it should be noted that Grade R­–7 learners achieve the best academic result when the parent or guardian are also actively involved. Our Gr 8–12 Brainline learners flourish on regular positive affirmation, parent interest and involvement. We answer many of these types of questions on our website.”

And can parents registering for online education as a temporary measure return to a traditional school?

Learners who are enrolling for online education can definitely return to a traditional environment, as Brainline is registered with the IEB, assuring you of quality assessment in accordance with standard policy. Therefore, our curriculum is the same as other IEB-aligned institutions and learners can expect an almost seamless transition.”