ABOUT half of pupils at Ardbennie Primary School in Harare were yesterday sent home over a $56 bus levy, triggering the ire of parents as the children prepare for end of year examinations this month.
REPORT BY KUPAKWASHE MAKONYE OWN CORRESPONDENT
When NewsDay visited the school, hordes of pupils could be seen trooping back home, others playing in the school grounds and most classes were half empty.
Parents who had come to enquire expressed bitterness saying the school was being insensitive and that failure to pay the bus levy did not warrant dismissal of their children.
“It is unfair to send the children back home for the bus levy after paying the full tuition fee and after all (Education minister David) Coltart condemned this saying it’s unlawful,” said one of the parents.
Another parent weighed in saying the school authorities were playing a blame game.
“They said the School Development Committee was the one that had sent the children back home and the pupils were going to be admitted back in class after paying the $56. They are merely defending themselves which is wrong,” said another parent.
Contacted for comment, Coltart said the school was off track.
“Children should not be sent home for any form of levies. However, if parents note this behaviour they should report to the District Education Office,” he said.
This incident comes days after St Peters’ Kubatana High School in Highfield also sent pupils home for failing to pay school fees.