Zhou blasts govt over ‘dysfunctional’ Form One online application system

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By Staff Reporter

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou has condemned government’s unpopular directive on local boarding schools to enrol for Form One places through online application.

In a statement, Zhou called the system dysfunctional technology as not even a single school has so far managed to use the online portal.

He said a lot of Zimbaweans parents whose children applied online were in a quandary as schools were still failing to us the system for enrolment purposes.

To make matters worse, Zhou said, schools could not revert to the manual method of enrolment as they wait for a directive from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to do so.

Government ordered parents with pupils seeking Form One boarding places to apply electronically using the ministry’s online application platform.

Introduced under the tenure of former education minister Lazarus Dokora in attempts to curb corruption among schools, the idea is proving too daunting among both schools and those seeking places.

“Schools are failing to use the system to enrol students, a week after Grade seven results are out. Not even a single secondary school has managed to use the online applications to enrol.

“The schools are neither accepting the alternative manual method as they religiously wait for a directive from the ministry but sadly, nothing is coming from the ministry that in itself looks to be running out of ideas.

“Several parents are using their hard earned money to visit where schools they would have applied to only to be informed that the same schools were facing challenges in processing applications; why has the ministry adopted a system it cannot use,” Zhou said.

He added “Several parents have been inconvenienced while uncertainty and anxiety has cropped into many candidates who cannot secure Form One places because of a dysfunctional technology that further points to incompetence and lackadaisical approach by the ministry,”

Zhou’s sentiments also come after the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Tumisang Thabela recently admitted that the online application was overwhelmed and pupils may fail to get admission to boarding schools of their choice.