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Dokora slams Form 1 entry tests, sets enrolment date

By Nyemudzai Kakore

Enrolment of pupils into Form 1 next year will be conducted on December 4 countrywide using Grade Seven results, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora has said.

Lazarus Dokora
Lazarus Dokora

In a statement yesterday, Dr Dokora said this year’s enrolment had been set for December 4, but in future education authorities would provide dates.

“The ministry noted that some schools were enrolling learners into Form 1 through application of their own entrance tests and assessment,” read the statement.

“The enrolment shall be on a working day, seven days after the Grade 7 results are officially announced by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) or as determined by the secretary every year. The 2016 Form 1 enrolment shall be Friday, 4 December 2015.”

This follows an outcry by parents over the cost of entrance tests who criss-cross the country in search of Form 1 places each year while being fleeced of thousands of dollars by unscrupulous headmasters and school authorities. Schools sometimes conduct entrance tests for 500 pupils at $20 each when they require only 100 pupils.

Dr Dokora stated that the practice of entrance tests and non-refundable fees was “discriminatory”, adding that in response, Government had issued a circular as part of comprehensive corrective measures.

“Representations have been received to the effect that parents were being subjected to unnecessary financial burden through the payment of the non-refundable entrance test fees or travelling from school to school,” he said.

“This practice is discriminatory and violates the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20 of 2013 Section 563) and the Education Act Sections (4) 1) and 4) (2) (b).

“In response to these representations, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education produced the Secretary’s Circular Minute Number 13 of 2015 which provided guidelines on enrolment into Form 1.

“Enrolment of learners into Form 1 shall be based on Grade 7 results and shall be conducted on a specific date each year across the country,” the statement said.

He added that parents and pupils were advised to identify and approach a school of their choice for Form 1 on the enrolment date. “Heads of secondary schools should advise their District Education Officers within two days of the enrolment date of any shortfalls in Form 1 enrolment to facilitate advice to parents and pupils accordingly.

“Provincial Education Directors, District Education Officers, Heads of Secondary schools, Responsible Authorities, Church Education Secretaries, Teachers Associations, and Trust Schools must respect the letter and spirit of these guidelines,” said Dokora. The Herald