All schools wishing to conduct Form 1 entrance tests for Grade 7 pupils would have to do it for free, a top government official has said.
Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora, said a ban on entrance tests imposed by government last year was still in place.
Dokora on Wednesday told Parliament that the policy to make entrance tests free was in line with making education affordable to parents. On the other hand, government has introduced a $3 fee for Grade 7 exams, a move widely criticised by parents.
“The import of the policy on keeping the costs of education affordable has the effect that those who wish to undertake entrance tests should be able to do that without a cost to the parents,” Dokora told Parliament during the question and answer session.
Dokora was responding to a question by Gutu North Zanu PF MP Ticharwa Madondo on what government’s policy was regarding the writing of entrance exams by Grade 7 pupils.
Dokora told the Daily News that there was no policy reversal.
He said he helped with the rationale for the existing policy. Government banned entrance exams after parents complained that schools were fleecing them, as the fees were non-refundable.
The ministry of Education argued that the pupils were supposed to look for Form 1 places using their Grade 7 examination results.
However, most private schools are still holding mid-year interviews as a selection process for Form 1 places.