Men­tal exam for jin­gles head

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/national News - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu Plumtree Cor­re­spon­dent

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

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