NOW that the 2018 Zimsec Grade Seven results are out, successful candidates are already looking ahead to new life in high school in the not-so-distant future.
Naturally, learners have their choices of schools, where they intend to go for their secondary school education while parents too, have their preferred options.
While those seeking places at day schools have had their fair share of challenges in the past, their counterparts intending to enrol in boarding schools have also been faced with challenges, especially after the introduction of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s electronic application platform for Form 1 boarding places.
The system was introduced in 2016.
We surely cannot say the introduction of the electronic application system did not come with a host of its positives. It did.
The advantages of using the platform among others include time efficiency, corruption minimisation, zero registration cost and the convenience of applying online safely and securely without leaving the comfort of your home.
Be that as it may, there has been intense debate and critical analysis of the benefits and disadvantages of the system that we sincerely hope the Ministry will effectively and expeditiously deal with this time around.
Concerns have been raised over the system in terms of how it is exclusive and only beneficial to people with access to the internet and how it can cause corruption and confusion through last-minute enrolments.
We hope the Ministry will ensure that the system along with the one-day registration approach will effectively “even the playing field” and tackle the corrupt tendencies associated with securing places for high school.
Constraints such as the uneven access to the internet (Zimbabwe’s internet penetration is at 50, 1 <http://www.techzim.co.zw/2016/10/1-8-million-gb-data-consumed-e-commerce-boosts-post-office-5-highlights-potraz-report/>percent) and the limited time set for the adoption of the system have been cited as stumbling blocks in the effective roll-out of this solution.
It is not pleasing at all when children become stranded, without Form One boarding places to take up after being left in the cold when the selection takes place using the electronic platform to which they have no access.
The same goes for those seeking places in day schools. Government, through the education ministry must continue looking for ways to cushion parents and children in these times.
Thirty-eight years after independence, surely, getting a place for secondary education studies must never be much of a hassle!
We have witnessed that in the past and now hope the responsible authorities have sought and found remedies to challenges that dogged the introduction and smooth roll out of the computerised system.
Frustrating children and parents seeking Form One places would certainly erode the glamour and positives gained by the impressive Grade Seven results they achieved.
There is no doubt that children, with the help of their parents and teachers, did a fantastic job in coming out with flying colours in this year’s Grade Seven exams.
Elsewhere in this newspaper, we carry a story of the outstanding achievements of different schools in last year’s Grade Seven exams and we take pride in that most of the schools that dominated the top 10 are from Manicaland.
We urge authorities in these schools to maintain their fine performance and work towards continuing to create learner friendly environments in our schools.
In the same breadth, we heartily thank officials in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for bringing ease of doing business for teachers in schools and implore them to continue traversing in that path.
This is also the reason The Manica Post would also take this opportunity to congratulate Chancellor Primary School for taking pole position in having the highest number of pupils with five points.
Makorokoto, Amhlope, Congratulations!