Par­ents close school, de­mand trans­fer of jin­gles head­mas­ter

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Chronicle - Sukul­wenkosi Dube- Matutu

A MOB of an­gry par­ents have barred their chil­dren from at­tend­ing lessons at Ta­hangana High School in Mangwe District, de­mand­ing the re­moval of the head­mas­ter from the in­sti­tu­tion.

The par­ents on Tues­day morn­ing blocked the school gates and or­dered all chil­dren to re­turn to their homes. They threat­ened to con­tinue the protest un­til head­mas­ter, Mr Nor­man Mu­vimi, who made head­lines last year for forc­ing teach­ers to re­cite jin­gles he wrote, was trans­ferred.

Mr Mu­vimi was moved to Ta­hangana High School at the be­gin­ning of sec­ond term last year from Mam­bale High School fol­low­ing com­plaints from staff mem­bers.

He had al­legedly com­posed 44 jin­gles which he was forc­ing teach­ers and pupils to re­cite each day “as a way of im­prov­ing the schools’ pass rates.”

Teach­ers at his old and new school re­ported that he was in­sult­ing them in front of par­ents and pupils.

Ta­hangana High School’s De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee (SDC) chair­per­son, Mr Bu­pelo Tshuma said Mangwe District Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fi­cer (DEO), Mr Head­man Mpofu promised to re­spond to par­ents’ con­cerns by end of day yes­ter­day.

He said par­ents were ac­cus­ing Mr Mu­vimi of poor ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Par­ents were at the school as early as 7AM on Tues­day and they bar­ri­caded the gate. Ev­ery child was told to re­turn home while those who were al­ready in the school premises were or­dered to leave. Teach­ers spent the day seated as all chil­dren had gone.

“We later held a meet­ing with the DEO and par­ents made it clear that their chil­dren would not be at­tend­ing school un­til Mr Mu­vimi is trans­ferred. Par­ents have made this re­quest in the past but no ac­tion has been taken by the ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials. This time around no ac­tion from them means the school will re­main shut,” said Mr Tshuma. He read out a list of griev­ances against Mr Mu­vimi. “He was uni­lat­er­ally mak­ing cru­cial de­ci­sions without con­sult­ing par­ents, SDC com­mit­tee mem­bers and the school’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. He in­tro­duced a pol­icy that al­lowed pupils to use smart phones at school, al­lowed girl pupils to put on weaves.”

“He fired SDC com­mit­tee mem­bers without con­sult­ing par­ents. Barred pupils from Ng­wanyana Pri­mary School, which is a neigh­bour­ing school from us­ing a bore­hole at the school while the pri­mary school did not have a wa­ter source. He cre­ated 10 en­try points at the school without con­sult­ing par­ents,” said Mr Tshuma.

He al­leged that Mr Mu­vimi was in a habit of in­sult­ing teach­ers in front of par­ents and pupils and re­stricted par­ents from vis­it­ing his of­fice.

“Mr Mu­vimi re­fused to pay work­ers em­ployed by the SDC who com­prise the school clerk and care­taker. He re­fused to re­lease funds for school de­vel­op­ment pro­cesses. He also barred pupils from par­tic­i­pat­ing in sports,” said the SDC chair­per­son.

Mr Mpofu, said he had re­ceived a re­port on chaos at the school and said his team would visit the school to­day to re­solve the mat­ter.

The area’s coun­cil­lor, Mr Phakamisa Sibanda said the ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials had to re­solve the mat­ter as chil­dren were miss­ing out on lessons.

Mr Mu­vimi con­firmed that the school was closed as chil­dren were not at­tend­ing lessons.

The head­mas­ter was early this year sus­pended for three months fac­ing charges of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, ver­bal abuse, ab­sen­teeism, caus­ing com­mo­tion at the school and exam mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion but was later cleared and re­in­stated.

A group of pupils from the school last year held a demon­stra­tion against him after he stopped them from at­tend­ing a sport­ing event, de­spite pay­ing sports levy.

The dis­grun­tled pupils were also un­happy as they had been miss­ing out on lessons while the head­mas­ter al­legedly held long meet­ings with teach­ers dur­ing les­son time.

Teach­ers at the school also wrote a pe­ti­tion against him com­plain­ing that he was harsh. — @DubeMatutu

Mr Nor­man Mu­vimi

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