THE nine pupils who were suspended at Inyathi High School in Bubi District two weeks ago for allegedly engaging in sexual activities, will only return to school for their final examinations.
This was said by the Matabeleland North provincial education director, Mrs Boithatelo Mnguni, yesterday.
The nine are four boys and five girls, eight of them in Form Four and one in Upper Six at the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) run school, situated 68 km from Bulawayo.
The sex scandal occurred on several occasions between 26 August and 9 September when the Form Fours and Upper Six pupils had gone for holiday crash lessons.
Mrs Mnguni told Chronicle that the school's disciplinary committee had resolved that the pupils could not be accommodated at the school again, but would write their examinations at the school.
She, however, said the development would not affect the pupils' performance during their final examinations as they had already done enough tutorial lessons during the holidays.
"The disciplinary committee at the school met over the issue and finally decided that the pupils will only be allowed into the school only to write their examinations," said Mrs Mnguni.
"The pupils had done a lot in terms of preparing for their final examinations and I am certain that the development will not affect their performance in the final examinations if they were serious with their studies."
She said the school was justified not to allow the pupils to attend lessons at school because it was a Christian school with a culture and values that had to be followed.
"The school gave the pupils a chance. Teachers for subjects such as Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics are limited and this incident occurred at a time when the school had gone out of its way to hire teachers during the holidays to improve the pupils' performance.
"As the provincial office we cannot question the decision made by the school because it is for the benefit of the pupils and the school which is a Christian institution with its own culture, values and moral standards that have to be observed," said Mrs Mnguni.
Indications are that when schools closed last term, the majority of teachers did not return for holiday lessons. The pupils took advantage of the hired teachers who were not familiar with the school's surroundings.
The school's matron reportedly gave the keys of the gate and the main door to the girls' hostels to one of the girls.
The girl would open for the boys to come into the hostels.
The pupils allegedly smuggled in cellphones into the school, which they were using to communicate and arrange their escapades.
Parents of pupils attending the school expressed disappointment over the issue but also blamed the school authorities for not playing their role.
Last year, the school's pass rate was 26 percent. chronicle