Teachers Accused Of ‘School Capture’ Defy Education Ministry
10 October 2021
Two teachers at Tudi 1 Primary School in Matobo District, Matabeleland South Province reportedly defied the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education instruction to leave the school and transfer to new work stations.
The two teachers, Sifiso Ncube and Arnold Mapiye are now habitually disrupting everyday lessons and violently confronting other educators and villagers.
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Reports suggest that the two teachers were reportedly part of a larger group of “radical” educators that had reportedly “captured” the school.
The group had been fingered for allegedly embezzling funds that the villagers had raised for the school’s development.
The other teachers they had been accused together with agreed to follow a ministry directive to go and work in other stations after the conclusion of disciplinary processes, but the two have stayed put.
It is further claimed that the educators' salaries have been ceased but they still refuse to vacate school premises and make space for new teachers, and last year allegedly nearly assaulted a headmaster who had been deployed to the school.
Rusta Nyathi, the former chairperson of Tudi 1 Primary’s School Development Committee, told The Sunday News that the often violent pair had been holding the school to ransom over the past few years. Said Nyathi:
This is a problem that I found when I was appointed SDC chair last year. It’s a long-running problem and I remember I was called from home after there was a big fight that these men started at the school.
I was called because I am a member of the neighbourhood watch committee and I was also a part of the workers’ committee.
At the time, it seemed that the noise had died down but afterwards, villagers asked me to become the chairperson of the school committee because they felt that the situation had got out of hand.
We were called in one day and we found so much violence that I was also overwhelmed. That’s when I called the police but even after that, we did not get the result that we wanted.
Nyathi said he visited the Matobo district education offices to report the issue but was told not to bother. He said:
I went to the district education offices and they told me that I should not bother with these people because there is a process to be followed to reprimand teachers and it can take some time.
I was told that the other teachers had been given positions elsewhere and it was now just these two that are refusing to leave.
A villager, Peter Dube, said villagers’ hands were tied as they could not forcibly remove the pair from the school.
Another villager, Onias Dube, said villagers were shocked at the fact that educated people could behave in that manner.
Meanwhile, Matobo District Schools Inspector Headman Mpofu said he was unaware of the issue.