Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Confusion over Form One enrolment

By Harmony Agere

Form One boarding enrolment for 2017 is in chaos following Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora’s directive for parents to apply for places online only.

Pupil at Ngezi High School, Mhondoro waits for his parents after disembarking from a school bus at Civic Centre in Harare yesterday. – (Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda)
Pupil at Ngezi High School, Mhondoro waits for his parents after disembarking from a school bus at Civic Centre in Harare yesterday. – (Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda)

Parents and teachers say the decision has left them confused about their next step as some schools had already recruited students using Grade Seven results and entrance tests.

They described the new application system as a “last minute measure” which is complex and inaccessible to most parents, particularly those in rural areas.

Dr Dokora introduced the system, dubbed electronic Ministry Application Platform (eMAP), last week to curb corruption during the enrolment of Form One students.

“For those requiring boarding places, please note that there are only 24 000 boarding places. No parent or guardian should have unrealistic expectations for the placement of their dependent child into boarding school,” he said then.

“It is for this reason that all prospective boarding learners with a clearance letter from their last school will use the eMAP application system.”

Through this system, Dr Dokora said, parents will electronically apply for places to three schools of their choice with the replies expected within three days. He said the application process shall be conducted on December 16, 2016.

However, while the transition to e-enrolment has been applauded as progressive, stakeholders say the timing is causing unprecedented confusion.

“You get to wonder why Government is only making this announcement now that we are looking for places for our children,” said a parent who was last week turned away from a boarding school in Marondera.

“They had the whole year to make these changes and teach parents about it but they want to introduce it at a time when there is pressure and panic. What if the system fails?”

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe president, Dr Takavafira Zhou said the ministry did not consult stakeholders before making the decision, thereby resulting in confusion.

“Time and again, we have said that the minister should consult before introducing some of these reforms so that everyone involved, from parents to teachers and even the pupils, can have an input,” he said.

“The ministry is earning itself a very bad reputation by doing things without consulting.

“The headmasters who run the school were not even consulted on this matter. ln fact, most of them are not even sure what they are supposed to do.”

As such, Dr Zhou said some defiant schools have gone ahead with the enrolment despite the Government directive.

“What is wrong with using the Grade Seven results, why should we be introducing new things every time?

“Actually, what the minister is trying to introduce has not been effected because some schools had already recruited through entrance tests.

“Some are going ahead with Grade Seven results.”

Parents’ representative, Zimbabwe Schools Development Associations secretary-general, Mr Everisto Jongwe said education should be inclusive and warned that the new recruitment system could be a disadvantage to those in rural areas.

“The motive is really good if you consider that we are in the information age where technology leads but we have to appreciate the fact that the environment we are operating in is not ready for that system,” he said.

“Maybe the ministry should have introduced this system gradually because to introduce it now when some parents had already paid money in entrance fees has just created confusion.”

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) experts doubt the ministry’s ability to run such a vast network. ICT expert, Chris Musodza says the access to internet in the country may not be sufficient for the new system to work effectively.

“I have concerns on the application process, especially considering the internet penetration rate in our country which is still at 51 percent according to the latest Potraz report,” he says.

“At least 98 percent of the total population using the internet in Zimbabwe are accessing it through their mobile phones, primarily using it to access WhatsApp and Facebook.

“I think the internet penetration needs to be around 80 percent for us to expect a smooth implementation of such an idea.

“Our internet also has to be geographically distributed across the country in a convincing manner because as things stand, the system favours those in urban areas.”

Nevertheless, Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister, Professor Paul Mavima defended the system saying it is high time the country fully adopts the e-learning system.

“This new application method will come to rationalise the whole Form One enrolment process. The situation had gone bad with some headmasters going as far as selling places to desperate parents,” he said.

Professor Mavima said the decision was arrived at after his ministry received complaints from parents who had been made to pay various amounts for their children to get places.

On accessibility, Prof Mavima said the system is accessible on smart-phones and is simple in that almost any literate person can operate it. He said for those who do not have access to computers and smart-phones, they can use information centres around the country.

Observers are nonetheless still afraid that thousands of pupils may be without places when schools open in 2017, thereby affecting classes.

While the introduction of e-enrolment and its ultimate full-scale adoption, though ambitious, is a commendable effort by Government, its major flaw in this instance has been the timing and how it was communicated to stakeholders.

Adopted on a smooth running scale, the advantages of e-learning can outweigh its disadvantages. For example, corruption, pressure at schools during enrolment days as well as expenses to parents and schools will be eliminated.

Research shows that in South Africa, e-Learning has done well in some instances and badly in remote areas. The Sunday Mail

  • i stay deep down in musambakarunya at st Nyoka and Dofora oti apply on line akabvepiko uyu.

  • Wat is the minister saying abt it …time is ticking away???

  • what about those who can nt affort the systim

  • We a really confused

  • Zanu failure as is expected

  • You log in the details, but the system says, your information could not be found. Please help.

  • Dokora has just failed as a minister he must step down

  • Hats off to Dokora with your e Map.. This is a very smart way of enroling our children into school. And how cheap!!! With only 50 MB worth 50 cents on a mobile phone you would have applied to 3 schools. It works anywhere in Zimbabwe and l dont know of a village that can claim to have no single person without a smart phone. Teachers and such enlightened people in each community can assist parents down there. It is beter and chaeper for a parent to walk to a nearby towship or growth point or school to get help and apply than for for one to travel from Nyamatikiti in Darwin to Murewa High. Go Hn Dokora go with your e MAP it works

    • My friend it is good idea but he must also see tha there is a full provison of the services did you just read the topic, it’s a chaos meaning not everyone has access and know-how

    • Sometimes yu need to think of others first than just tik about your self

    • The website only began working yesterday and l dont know when the confusion began. People who are applying right now have no ch as llenge whatever. The problem is with us accepting a new shift. Like l said this is time and money saving. Am not thinking about myself but about those parents who used to visit one school in thier thousands only to fight for 80 places.

    • Shamwari this was supposed to be optional not compulsory cos if even 1 parent is disadvantaged then that system is unfair. Hatisi tose tine access to technology. In any case, dai vakatanga vabvunza isu vabereki vacho than to impose at such short notice.

  • I APPLIED TO TWO SCHOOLS ONLY YAAKUTORAMBA KUTI NDIITE THE THIRD ONE

  • we supposed to be used to these technological advances, but also government is supposed to do parallel changeover where we use both e current manual & e new online system concurrently , also feasing out e old slowly till everyone gets used to e online system…to some it’s easy but to those in remote areas it will be very difficult coz umwe nanhasi haagone kushandisa Evocash chaiyo …

  • This guy is a lunatic munhu achishaya ye sipo or upfu ozowana ye data bundle ari ku ruzevha .

  • Did he consider those ones who have no access to apply online. Not a bad idea if the country is technologically advanced. Some of this minister’s suggestions are rushed and then imposed on people.

  • sascum Dokora he must step down

  • Ndoosaka ndakatiza

  • Can someone explain to me please is the emap application for boarding only

    • So i heard. Day scholars to apply the traditional way

  • Our country is not capable to offer the service of applying online yet.i agree that we need to move with technology but most people still dont have internet access.the minister should have done a research first instead of rushing to do something.

  • Is Dokora a Zimbabwean

  • dofora kuno hakuna network mhani plus data rinodhura

  • dofora. pakutsvaga mari ishasha ndiye futi wekuti grade seven ngairegistwe

  • sandura

    I remember South Africa, which is off course technologically ahead of us infrastructure wise, introduced the system, but had lots of problems. This should have been gradually introduced to run parallel to manual system, while the challenges that it brings are being resolved.

  • What about those in rural areas??

  • given the internet and electricity problems we still have in Zim this sounds bullshit.Dokora its okay yo be stupid byt please dont let the world know about it. get your facts right before indulging into something that you are not even aware of.

  • Saka vasina Internet or understanding of it varikumusha vana vavo havachatoendi kuchikoro zve. ….This idiot has failed as a minister left, right, centre. Should have left the old system in place

  • The Cuban communist education really retarded this Dokora buffoon, whatever he calls himself. He’s a Lazarus thinker, under witted ignorama , paranoid.

  • Vana vachaenda vasina ma Uniforms kuzotanga kuatsvaka in January pakaipa…

  • Ko Dzingai Mutumbuka mupenyu here aaa coz ummm zve internet izvi zvatiomera .

  • Dokora is a big sascum

  • Zanu

  • Mhosva yedu ndeyei chaizvo munyika muno hama tatambura netwumapolicy twuri kungointroducwa naiwo maminister aya

  • They should have made it a point that each and every primary has access to internet so to be used by disadvantage parents.

  • Dokora anopenga, fullstop. Ini kubva nezuro cant access the link yacho. I dnt know if l will be able to do it b4 tmrw which is said to be the last day.

  • Alycan Mushayabasa

    the webpage is giving an error message “Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access /Form1Enrol/application/processApplication.php on this server.

    Apache/2.4.9 (Win64) Server at http://www.emap.co.zw Port 80″ and there is no help section. Any help

  • Ichi chinhu chinonzi Dofora hachizive zvachinoita nxaaa

  • What would you expect from someone out of touch with reality? Its called air con syndrome.

  • Umm Dokora is something else

  • Nxaaa Dokora z a Headache

  • Dokora musatanyoko wako wanzwa fuck u

  • Vamwe vanhu so handifungi kuti vanofunga here munhu uyu awuraya zvakawanda

  • That is VaDokoro for you

  • KASIRAI MUTASA

    Hallo

    I notice that neither the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, nor you journalists, in interogating the new Form 1 enrolment procedure introduced this weekend, that is, the eMAP platform, gave thought to all possible scenarios.

    I am a parent of a student who wrote the standard 7 exams in Botswana, where I am currently residing. I would like to send my son to a boarding school in Zimbabwe. But I see that the eMAP platform does not afford me the ability to register him. What now?

    To make matters complicated, the Standard 7 results in Botswana only came out last Friday, 09 December at night, and I can only collect the result slip on Monday the 12th, and so I cannot be in Zim to queue with the other parents on Monday. The Ministry telephones are never answered, at least the website contacts that I have. Worse still, both the website and the Facebook account look like they have gone for 4 months and 12 months, respectively, without being updated.

    Who do I contact to attend to my case??
    Please help as journalists by following up on this angle as well, because I know we have many parents like that in neighbouring countries seeking to bring their children to start Form 1 in the motherland.