Ex-students sue over seized O-Level results

FORMER Ordinary-Level students at Maranatha and Ihlathi High schools have petitioned the Bulawayo High Court demanding the release of their examination results of 2016 which were withheld over outstanding fees.

BY SILAS NKALA

Providence Ayanda Phahla and Prudence Moyo jointly filed their application last week, citing the two schools’ heads as well as Primary and Secondary Education minister Paul Mavima as respondents.

In her founding affidavit, Luphahla submitted that she was enrolled as a student at Maranatha High School, while Moyo was enrolled as a student at Ihlathi High School.
Luphahla, who is cited as first applicant, submitted that she attended her Forms 2 to 4 at the school while Moyo, the second applicant, did Forms 1 to 4 at Ihlathi High School.

“The applicants wrote Ordinary-Level examinations in 2015. Having completed their Ordinary-Level examinations, the results were subsequently released by the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council to the first and second respondents (schools) in 2016. At the time the results were released, I was owing the first respondent $538 in school fees arrears and the second applicant also owed, and still owes the second respondent $412,” she submitted.

“From the date when the results were released, the respondents have refused to release the results to the applicants.”

Luphahla pleaded with the court for an order declaring the schools’ refusal to release their results on the basis of failure to pay fees as unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of their constitutional right to education.

She said the schools’ actions were not provided for at law, indicating she was advised of legal ways the schools could follow to recover the arrears.

“The respondents’ actions have infringed the minor children’s fundamental rights as they have failed to progress with their education without the said Ordinary-Level results,” she submitted.

“The Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees a right to basic adult education, which is State-funded and as such, the respondents have no right to infringe the minor children’s rights on the basis of failure to pay the school fees.”

The applicants submitted that they were seeking an order declaring the conduct of the two schools as unlawful and unconstitutional, and also that the results be released to them. The two schools and Mavima are yet to respond to the application.

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