Form One online enrolment begins

Online applications for the enrolment of Form One pupils at public boarding schools for the 2023 school year will begin on Tuesday, when the Electronic Ministry Application Platform goes live.

Applicants will be able to apply for placement at five different schools.

The online application platform will be live until November 30.

Successful applicants will be notified through text messages sent to their cellphones by the respective school headmasters when the 2022 Grade Seven public examination results are released before year-end.

The platform was established in 2017 to bring an end to the corrupt enrolment of pupils at “prestigious” schools and stop enrolment interviews that were being used for fundraising by some school authorities.

In a circular to provincial education directors and school heads, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary Mrs Tumisang Thabela said there were limited openings at boarding schools.

She urged parents to accept the available offers.

“The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will be running an electronic platform for enrolling Form One (1) boarding places for 2023,” reads the circular.

“Parents/guardians who wish to send their children to boarding schools are advised to start applying through the platform ( with effect from November 1 up to November 30, 2022.

“All applicants will be allowed to make a minimum of five active applications at any given time.

“An applicant who has been offered a place at one school will not be eligible to apply or to be considered for a place at any other school unless the offer is declined.”

There are 24 246 available boarding places at public schools against a demand of over 367 000.

Director of communications and advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mr Taungana Ndoro said standard operating procedures introduced to curb the spread of Covid-19, for example, social distancing in boarding hostels at the schools, remain in place.

“During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, schools were not limiting boarding places but the schools were directed to follow the ministry’s standard operating procedures and these are still in place” he said.

Curriculum review

He said the ministry was reviewing the Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) under the ongoing curriculum review.

“We are currently taking feedback from various stakeholders to find out how we can improve the competence-based curriculum, which houses the continuous assessment framework.

“We are taking views from various stakeholders, parents and other key stakeholders in the education sector,” he said.

“Some of the suggestions that we have come across include minimising the number of CALA components (projects).

“We expect five components from Form Three up to the second term in Form Four; pupils should have five components per learning area.

“As the ministry, we are taking this into consideration.

“So, our stakeholders are saying let us reduce the assessment components to two over two years.”

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