Mugove Tafirenyika 27 June 2017
HARARE – A number of private schools are heading for confrontation with
government after it emerged they are still charging fees for Form 1
entrance tests despite a standing ban imposed on the practice.
The ban followed an outcry by parents over the steep cost of entrance
tests – prompting Primary and Secondary Education ministry to introduce
online registration as an alternative.
But some schools in Mashonaland East Province such as Monte Casino Girl
High, for example, have invited prospective Form 1 learners to apply for
Parents who want to send their children to these schools have since been
furnished with application forms.
Monte Casino, a Roman Catholic Church School located in Macheke, began
issuing out the application forms at the beginning of this term in May.
“Acceptance into Form 1 depends on entrance tests, primary school records
and the school head’s assessment,” the form, signed by the school head,
The form has three parts where the applicant, the parent or guardian, as
well as the head of the school from where the prospective Form 1 student
did primary education, sign.
The head must indicate whether or not the prospective student was in a
streamed class, when he or she did Grade 6 and 7.
Primary and Secondary Education ministry’s permanent secretary Sylvia
Utete-Masango said government will crack the whip on schools that defy the
“We have since banned that practice and anyone who will be caught on the
wrong side of the law will be dealt with, so we are going to investigate
the schools that are not compliant,” Utete-Masango told the Daily News.
In announcing the ban, Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus
Dokora said parents can take their children’s Grade 7 results to schools
of their choice.
“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.
“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,” he
said when he banned entrance tests.