PRIMARY and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora yesterday told Parliament that 3 000 Form One boarding places were still vacant at various schools throughout the country as some parents had failed to make use of the online application process introduced this month.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
“So far 63% of those that have access to places at boarding schools have gone through the online platform, and we will issue a Press release to highlight schools that have vacancies,” Dokora said.
“About 3 000 applications for boarding school places are still vacant and the schools that still have places are the ones that you see when you go online.”
He said some of the schools with vacant places include Regina Coeli, Mavhuradona, St Killians, Chaplain, Nashville, Marist Brothers and several schools in Bulawayo that include Milton, Townsend and Northlea.
“In Bulawayo, some schools received four or five e-applications,” Dokora said.
He assured Parliament that all the 329 549 pupils who sat for the Grade Seven examinations last year would secure places for Form One.
Dokora said there was no policy compelling parents to buy uniforms before enrolling at any particular school.
“There is no policy that children must buy uniforms before schools open,” Dokora said.
On allegations that his ministry illegally stole the e-application concept from a certain company, Dokora said the issue will be proved in the courts.
Meanwhile, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa told the House that the Zimbabwean and Mozambican Joint Operations Command (JOC) were on high alert as Renamo bandits were causing havoc and raiding cattle from the Zimbabwean side of the border and driving them to Mozambique.
“Armed Renamo rebels are doing the raids to destabilise the relationship between Zimbabwe and Mozambique. A person from Chipinge was abducted and killed on the Mozambican side of the border and we are still investigating to find out who did it so that we bring them to book,” Mnangagwa said.
He added: “The Zimbabwe security forces have said they will not allow invasions to happen and we have deployed our people to safe places. Those people at danger zones have been protected in a military sense. The Local Government ministry is looking at issues of shelter and food through the Local Government Disaster Committee.”
In an unrelated matter, Energy minister Samuel Undenge promised to investigate reports that some fuel companies had introduced a $20 cap for motorists drawing fuel using ATM cards.