The Zimbabwe school calendar has come to an end and many parents are now having headaches of securing Form 1 places for their children in the new school term.
This year may in fact be more confusing than most as parents are trying to adjust to a new enrolment system introduced by the government earlier in the year as well as compete for limited boarding places across the country.
The national schools’ deficit in Zimbabwe stands at 2500 schools. At a recent news conference, the newly appointed Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Cain Mathema highlighted this deficit. He said 326 685 learners completed Grade Seven in 2019 and 100 000 of these are seeking boarding places for which only 24 000 places exist. Minister Mathema encouraged those who do not secure paces in boarding schools to secure day school placement in their catchment areas.
At the same event, the Acting Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Peter Muzawazi advised parents not to decline places they will have been offered using the new electronic Ministry Application Platform (eMAP). The new system is intended to reduce the huge costs incurred by parents who previously had to physically travel to schools to make applications. Additionally, eMAP will help stem corruption which was becoming common in Form 1 applications. Mr Muzawazi urged parents to accept enrolment at schools where their children would have been offered places. He pointed out the complications of reapplying after they have declined those places.