Entrance tests must be free, says Dokora

HARARE - All schools wishing to conduct Form 1 entrance tests for Grade 7 pupils would have to do it for free, a top government official has said.

Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora, said a ban on entrance tests imposed by government last year was still in place.

Dokora on Wednesday told Parliament that the policy to make entrance tests free was in line with making education affordable to parents. On the other hand, government has introduced a $3 fee for Grade 7 exams, a move widely criticised by parents.

“The import of the policy on keeping the costs of education affordable has the effect that those who wish to undertake entrance tests should be able to do that without a cost to the parents,” Dokora told Parliament during the question and answer session.

Dokora was responding to a question by Gutu North Zanu PF MP Ticharwa Madondo on what government’s policy was regarding the writing of entrance exams by Grade 7 pupils.

Dokora told the Daily News that there was no policy reversal.

He said he helped with the rationale for the existing policy.

Government banned entrance exams after parents complained that schools were fleecing them, as the fees were non-refundable.

The ministry of Education argued that the pupils were supposed to look for Form 1 places using their Grade 7 examination results.

However, most private schools are still holding mid-year interviews as a selection process for Form 1 places.


Comments (4)

Let those schools which want to screen based on entrance tests go ahead! No one is forced to write those tests! Those asking for a refund after their kids fail the tests should go and see their psychiatrists as soon as possible! You want the markers to do the marking for free! Yours must be a very weird world!

jojo - 4 July 2015

This Dokora thing just rants but does not take action. Go out there minister and stop the unscrupulous schools from conducting these tests for a fee. Its happening!!

Zvenhando - 6 July 2015

This decision was not based on facts. In a country where there is a shortage of secondary schools, entrance exams have a two fold advantage. One, it ensures there is no flood of thousands of applicants the day after results, as only the shortlisted candidates will bother to visit the school. Secondly, the children who would have failed will have an opportunity to find other schools having known option 1 is out. The current scenario is terrible in that even if a school is going to take only 4 units, there will be an oversubscription of these, so much that some 4 units will have to look elsewhere on day two after results. By then most schools will have filled by day one. There is a lot of confusion and uncertainties with this system. For an educated country like us, its poor leadership and parenting not know where your child will go for form 1 right up until results are out. Ministry should just have regulated how much should be paid for the entrance exams not a wholesale ban.

Samaita - 6 July 2015

That dokora thing like I said before, is just dead wood. I just wonder what sort of juju he used to land that post. He is useless. I am glad he is neither my father nor my relative. He is a disgrace.

dzidzo - 10 July 2015

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