Entrance test fees spark fury
PARENTS seeking Form One places at John Tallach High School have condemned the school’s decision to charge them for an entrance test.
e Government has issued a standing directive for schools not to charge for entrance tests.
John Tallach High School, which had the best Ordinary Level public examinations in Matabeleland North last year, conducted a Form One entrance test for 2017 at Thembiso Primary School in Bulawayo’s Luveve suburb on Friday.
It was charging $5 per pupil, but said those were “administrative charges.”
Pupils were also required to bring two passport size photos for the exams.
Unconfirmed reports said the school invited about 1 000 children for the test yet it can only cater for less than 150 pupils at Form One.
Parents queried the school’s decision to have the test when Grade Seven results will be used to decide who gets a Form One place.
They were also not happy with the large number of students who were invited for a limited number of places.
The test came at a time when the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said parents should not be made to pay for entrance tests as schools were profiteering from the exercise.
The Chronicle visited Thembiso Primary School on Friday and observed multitudes of parents and pupils.
School officials declined to speak to the news crew and referred questions to Matabeleland North’s Provincial Education Director Mrs Boitatelo Mnguni.
Mrs Mnguni said John Tallach High School was not charging entrance test fees but administration fees.
“The school charges an administration fee as it conducts its entrance test in premises that are not theirs. This is for the convenience of parents who are mostly from Bulawayo,” she said.
Mrs Mnguni said the entrance test was not decisive as Grade Seven results will ultimately determine who will be enrolled at the school.
“These are preliminary exams but the enrolment will be decided by the Grade Seven results,” she said.
Parents who spoke to The Chronicle on condition of anonymity expressed their unhappiness.
“The school invited 500 girls and 500 boys for the test when their intake is about 140 pupils. This is fraudulent because as parents we’re expected to pay $5 and bring two passport size photos for the test. What’s the probability of the child passing the exam in such a large pool? If they knew that they had many interested pupils they should’ve done some internal screening first before the public test,” said one parent.
Another parent said apart from the fact that the school was defrauding parents, it should adhere to the laws of the country.
“We can’t be a country that doesn’t observe its laws. There is something wrong with this system. The school has to be brought to book,” said the parent. — @nqotshili.
John Tallach High School hopefuls wait with their parents outside Thembiso Primary School in Luveve, Bulawayo, to write the Form One entrance test on Friday