By Helen Kadirire
The Primary and Secondary Education ministry has insisted it will continue using the online-based enrolment application system, despite an outcry by stakeholders.
Since its launch last week, the website — created under instruction from Education minister Lazarus Dokora in a bid to ease enrolment and scouting of form one places for prospective pupils — has been down for days.
According to the ministry, once the online application process is completed, parents and guardians should receive an SMS within three days.
Education ministry permanent secretary Sylvia Utete-Masango yesterday told the Daily News that they will continue using the online-based enrolment system despite the chaos it has created as parents and other stakeholders panicked.
The permanent secretary said those who continue experiencing problems with the website should go to their nearest cluster school or former Grade Seven schools for assistance.
Utete-Masango, however, said the website is only for those seeking boarding places while day scholars would approach schools of their choice with their results slips.
“We have managed to fix the problem and hope that will not repeat,” she said, further confirming that some concerned parents actually approached the ministry.
“The website is using the same database as that used in registering for Grade Seven examinations. We know that parents are concerned with corruption and as such our district officers will be conducting spot checks to avoid any such possibilities,” Utete-Masango said.
Apex council spokesperson George Mushipe said if the ministry does not swiftly attend to the problematic website, it may result in chaos as parents could flood schools to look for form one places.
“While the intention is noble, particularly on transparency, no wide consultations were made with key stakeholders who are the parents and schools. Then we still have remote areas in Zimbabwe with little or no access to Internet,” he said.
Mushipe, however, said factors such as corruption in securing Form One places drove the ministry to take the approach.
He said if the application of school places is centralised at the ministry, then it would curb corruption. Daily News