Parents want Matjinge school principal fired

Parents with children at Matjinge High School in Bulilima East District, Plumtree are pushing for the abolishment of the office of the principal at the Methodist Church-run school, accusing the incumbent of running down the school.

This came out during a tense meeting, Tuesday, which was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and Methodist Church, Bulawayo District Bishop.

Recently, the parents delivered a petition to the government and school authorities on the low pass rate at the school and alleged financial misappropriation of school funds among other issues.

Speaking during the meeting, Lungisani Chikwala said the church failed to engage parents as stakeholders at the school when they first introduced the office of the principal.

“The new principal was not introduced to us as stakeholders. Even during the establishment of principal’s office, we were not consulted,” said Chikwala.

“The previous principal took over the house which was built by parents for use by the headmaster. We have been quiet all these years and observing the situation.”

Chikwala also accused the Methodist Church of failing to properly manage the school which has continued to produce poor results.

“Since 2006 to 2019 the school has been producing poor results, nothing has been done to rectify that problem, for this and other reasons we want the office of the principal to be abolished,” he said.

Another parent said they are now forced to send their children to other schools due to poor quality education at the school.

“There is no development at the school, parents are now sending children to schools in other areas, which is very costly. The school authorities are now telling us about being affected by Covid-19 but this is a new pandemic affecting all countries,” he said.

The parent added that they are not happy with the eviction of the headmaster from the house which they built for him.

“As parents we borrowed money to buy the school vehicle but we don’t know where it disappeared to,”he said.

In response, the Bulawayo District Methodist Church Bishop Matthew Ncube said his office had not received any reports from parents.

“My office did not receive any complaints from the parents but I want to assure you that an audit will be carried out and it is then that I will make an official comment,” said Bishop Ncube.

“If our principal is found with fault, we will take action against him as a church. If there are unorthodox things, financial embezzlement being done in this school, it wasn’t through my office.”

A Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education representative, Reuben Zinyemba said they will be a follow-up meeting with the church and they will convene another meeting with parents to map the way forward.  

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