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Parents force school to close in Karoi

The closure of the school left over 1 200 students stranded on opening day.

About 50 guardians locked the school premises demanding the removal of two teachers, namely Simon Mupfurutsa and Farai Kaitano.

Students at the school only started lessons after the intervention of the Ministry of Education officials from Harare later in the week.

Parents said the problem at the school started when the then headmaster, Emmanuel Manokore, was expelled after an investigation by the Ministry of Education revealed that he had written examinations for some Ordinary Level students for a fee.

But some parents alleged that the investigations were not done properly as they had spared Kaitano whose child was also implicated.

However, other parents alleged that the teachers were MDC-T activists and feared that their children would be taught party propaganda.
Mupfurutsa, who is the Hurungwe North district MDC-T information and publicity secretary, accused the School Development Association (SDA) chairman, Enock Western, of initiating his removal from the school.

Western, also known as Chihota, is the Zanu PF chairman in the area.

“Zanu PF is involved as Enock Western is also the chairman of the school development committee,” said Mupfurutsa.

Efforts to get a comment from Western were fruitless last week.

But the victimisation of teachers aligned to MDC-T has been rife in Mashonaland West province.

Another teacher at Chikangwe High School in Karoi, Wilson Makanyaire, has since reported acts of victimisation by district education officers for being a member of MDC-T.

He has reported the matter to Mashonaland West Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic).
Makanyaire, who is the MDC-T provincial organising secretary, argued that the Education Act did not bar any teacher from being actively involved in party politics.

“Teachers have every right to join any political party they want and in the Education Act there is nothing written to stop teachers from participating in politics,” said Makanyaire.

Mashonaland West Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture director, Sylvester Mashayamombe, confirmed that they had dispatched a team to investigate the closure of the school.

“After we received reports that the school had failed to open because some parents had grievances with some teachers, we sent our team to go and ensure that the school reopened,” said Mashayamombe. “What we don’t want is for the children to suffer because of whatever reasons, be it politics or otherwise.”

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