Parents storm school, accuse teachers of participating in stayaway

A GROUP of parents in Mutoko last week allegedly besieged Chimoyo Primary School and accused teachers of participating in the nationwide protests before ordering them to leave within 24 hours.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

The parents allegedly accused the teaching staff of sending away pupils on January 14, saying such act was meant to sabotage the government.

It is reported that the parents then visited the school on Monday and ordered the teachers to vacate the school, accusing them of being “political activists”.

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe Mashonaland East chapter co-ordinator Tapiwa Chengeta said he had received a report from two of the affected teachers at the school.

“I confirm of the incident that occurred at Chimoyo Primary School in Mutoko East, where I received a report from our members to the effect that some parents have ordered them to leave the school because they allegedly participated in the stayaway. A group of people besieged the school on Monday, with the intention to harass teachers. They are also saying the teachers have overstayed and that they should go,” he said.

Last week, the nation plunged into massive protests following the recent announcement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa of a 150% fuel price hike.

The protests were, however, largely concentrated in urban areas.

A teacher at the school who preferred anonymity, confirmed the move by the parents and said they turned the pupils home after realising that the area was to experience a storm.

“On Monday, last week, the pupils were dismissed to evade a storm that was looming. The parents, however, reacted angrily and accused us of participating in a stayaway. However, one of the community leaders then brought a letter to us, saying the teaching staff should look for jobs somewhere else. Yesterday (Monday), a group of 60 people came to the school and said eight of the teachers, plus the school head, should vacate because they had overstayed. We told them that we are employed by the government and that we are not going anywhere. We also alerted the district schools inspector (DSI) about the issue,” a teacher, who requested anonymity, said. The parents have also threatened to withdraw their pupils from the school if the teaching staff refused to leave the learning institution.

Mutoko DSI Hayiwanziwe Katuka yesterday confirmed receiving a report from the school authorities.

“I confirm that something of that nature happened (parents besieging the school) and I have already alerted other relevant authorities. We are set to have a meeting with stakeholders over the issue,” he said.

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