Parents close school, demand transfer of jingles headmaster

A MOB of angry parents have barred their children from attending lessons at Tahangana High School in Mangwe District, demanding the removal of the headmaster from the institution.

The parents on Tuesday morning blocked the school gates and ordered all children to return to their homes. They threatened to continue the protest until headmaster, Mr Norman Muvimi, who made headlines last year for forcing teachers to recite jingles he wrote, was transferred.

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 schools’ pass rates.”

Teachers at his old and new school reported that he was insulting them in front of parents and pupils.

Tahangana High School’s Development Committee (SDC) chairperson, Mr Bupelo Tshuma said Mangwe District Education Officer (DEO), Mr Headman Mpofu promised to respond to parents’ concerns by end of day yesterday.

He said parents were accusing Mr Muvimi of poor administration.

“Parents were at the school as early as 7AM on Tuesday and they barricaded the gate. Every child was told to return home while those who were already in the school premises were ordered to leave. Teachers spent the day seated as all children had gone.

“We later held a meeting with the DEO and parents made it clear that their children would not be attending school until Mr Muvimi is transferred.

Parents have made this request in the past but no action has been taken by the education officials. This time around no action from them means the school will remain shut,” said Mr Tshuma.

He read out a list of grievances against Mr Muvimi.

“He was unilaterally making crucial decisions without consulting parents, SDC committee members and the school’s administration. He introduced a policy that allowed pupils to use smart phones at school, allowed girl pupils to put on weaves.”

“He fired SDC committee members without consulting parents. Barred pupils from Ngwanyana Primary School, which is a neighbouring school from using a borehole at the school while the primary school did not have a water source. He created 10 entry points at the school without consulting parents,” said Mr Tshuma.

He alleged that Mr Muvimi was in a habit of insulting teachers in front of parents and pupils and restricted parents from visiting his office.

“Mr Muvimi refused to pay workers employed by the SDC who comprise the school clerk and caretaker. He refused to release funds for school development processes. He also barred pupils from participating in sports,” said the SDC chairperson.

Mr Mpofu, said he had received a report on chaos at the school and said his team would visit the school today to resolve the matter.

The area’s councillor, Mr Phakamisa Sibanda said the education officials had to resolve the matter as children were missing out on lessons.

Mr Muvimi confirmed that the school was closed as children were not attending lessons.

The headmaster was early this year suspended for three months facing charges of sexual harassment, verbal abuse, absenteeism, causing commotion at the school and exam maladministration but was later cleared and reinstated.

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 lesson time.

Teachers at the school also wrote a petition against him complaining that he was harsh. -Chronicle

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