Confusion Over Form One Entrance Tests

Masvingo, March 27, 2014 – Some boarding schools have stopped taking pupils through internal entrance tests for purposes of recruiting form ones after an alleged ban on the exercise by government.

The ban was reportedly effected from January 1, this year.

Although there is no clear indication on the position yet, St Dominics,one of the best secondary schools in the country and Kutama Mission are already telling parents that there would be no entrance test for form ones at the schools after a directive to that effect was received from government.

The two schools are saying that pupils were going to be recruited on the basis of their Grade 7 results.

Efforts to get a comment from the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora were fruitless as his phone went unanswered.

It is also not clear why entrance tests for form ones have become an issue but the acting provincial education director for Masvingo province,Fadzai Jirivengwa said entrance tests have recently been on the ministry’s agenda and provinces were consulted for their positions on the matter.

She said the consultations were made province by province and each province made its submissions.She said the ministry is still to communicate on the final position and until it does she would not be able to say what the position is.

“Yes the ministry has held consultations on that matter but I cannot say anything until the permanent secretary says what the position is.We submitted our position but we cannot discuss this until the ministry gives it position” said Jirivengwa.

The Mirror, however phoned St Dominics after reports by some parents that the school would not be doing entrance tests for form one.

When The Mirror asked the headmaster for a place for a form one pupil, he said that there were no more entrance tests for form ones at the school.He said that there was a directive from the ministry that came in January which instructed schools to recruit pupils on the basis of grade seven results.

However,most schools in Masvingo were not yet aware of the directive.Most of them were saying they were still going to have entrance tests in order to recruit pupils for the 2015 form one intake.

Entrance tests also include payment of a non-refundable fee of up to $30 from which boarding schools get extra income since many students are invited and only a few selected for enrolment.