Mental exam for jingles head
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has ordered the headmaster of Tahangana High School to undergo mental examination.
There have been disturbances at the school in Mangwe District for the past year with parents demanding the transfer of the headmaster, Mr Norman Muvimi, whom they have blamed for poor administration and causing a drop in the school’s pass rate among other accusations.
He however insisted, in an interview yesterday, that he is mentally sound.
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 school’s pass rates.”
In a letter addressed to Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director, Mrs Tumisang Thabela, the Ministry’s Finance and Administration Human Resources and Development Principal Director, Mr J Gonese, said if the headmaster was found mentally unstable he would be committed to a mental institution.
“It is noted from the investigation report and your communication of the situation at Tahangana High School that there are serious disturbances taking place due to state of mind of the head Mr Muvimi.
“You are advised to invite the member’s wife or close relative for assessment of his mental stability and possible committal to a mental institution. Thereafter depending on the situation, he could be considered for retirement on medical grounds,” reads the letter.
It also states that the Ministry had to appoint an acting head in the meantime.
The Ministry removed Mr Muvimi from the school on Thursday last week after parents withdrew their children demanding his transfer. He was escorted out of the school by police and education officials who left him at his homestead to ensure his safety.
Disgruntled parents on Tuesday last week blocked the school gates and ordered all children to return to their homes. They also threatened to take matters into their own hands and evict Mr Muvimi if the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education decided to keep him at the school. This persisted for three days until District Education Officer, Mr Headman Mpofu, announced to parents during a meeting that Mr Muvimi had been removed from the school. He, however, said the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare was yet to deliberate on Mr Muvimi’s transfer. Mr Mpofu said in the meantime Mr Muvimi was expected to report to the district office daily with effect from yesterday. The headman of Ngwanyana area, Mr Edmond Tshuma, said Mr Muvimi had no respect for parents and each time they tried to engage him he dismissed them saying they were uneducated. Mr Muvimi yesterday insisted he did not have mental challenges. He said he was being falsely accused of composing jingles. “They claim that I’m mentally unstable but that’s untrue. I didn’t compose those jingles. In fact I merely took them from some modules which I received from the district offices to equip teachers as part of staff development. “I only introduced the Teaching Handwriting Reading and Spelling Skills (THRASS) programme which is a teaching tool recommended by the Ministry of Education,” he said. Mr Muvimi said the THRASS programme ensured that words were pronounced properly and it helped pupils that were lagging behind. He said he was just being punished for attempting to improve pass rates at school where he was deployed. He also said allegations laid against him by the community were false and were just attempts to get him transferred. 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 lessons. Teachers at the school also wrote a petition against him complaining that he was harsh. — @ DubeMatutu
A man waits for customers to buy used tyres, rims and other car spares at his house-turned- spares-shop in Mpopoma suburb, Bulawayo yesterday
Mr Norman Muvimi