Saturday, 18 June 2016


A school teacher at Harare’s Marimba Primary is being investigated for allegedly physically and verbally abusing a Grade 7 pupil who did not pay US$30 for her “extra” lessons during the 2016 first term holiday. It is alleged that the teacher, identified as Ms Chanakira, forces pupils to fork out US$30 for the “extra” lessons which Government already banned.

The teacher charges US$3 for afternoon “extra” lessons and uses marks from these to determine class seating arrangement as a way of stigmatising those who do not pay and attend.

Harare provincial education director Mr Christopher Kateera confirmed the case saying: “Yes, we received that letter last month and we are still carrying our own investigations into the story.”

In a letter dated May 31, 2016 to the Primary and Secondary Education Ministry, the pupil’s mother said: “The following is an account of the level of victimisation that is being perpetrated to a primary school pupil and we are convinced that it all started when the pupil failed to attend the holiday lessons for which the teacher demanded US$30. “Ever since the day the schools were opened the pupil knows no peace and is subjected to all forms of victimisation. Beatings are the order of the day on flimsy reasons and what concerns us is that the child is polite and bright in class.”

The letter said Ms Chanakira now “constantly told (the pupil) that he is dull”.
“Again when confronted on why he was not attending afternoon extra lessons which the teacher is charging US$3 per week the pupil said that his parents could not afford (to pay) … The pupil’s class work and tests are being given to fellow classmates to mark,” it reads.
“The school has a culture of writing monthly tests but the teacher has decided to use the paper written during extra lessons to decide the results and the new class seating arrangement.”

“Mumwe musi teacher akaenda pa group raanoti remadofo, where the pupil is now (sitting) and instructed them to recite the National Pledge starting with her target (my child) promising to beat everyone who failed to recite. My child successfully recited it and the rest of the group was ordered to sit down without reciting.

“After experiencing the victimisation we decided to visit the school headmaster Mrs Zulu hopping that the matter will be resolved but to no avail. We then approached the district education Officer and again nothing materialised.”

Marimba Primary head Mrs Gladys Zulu laid the blame on the parents. “There is no big issue; it’s only that there are parents who are not getting along with the teacher. I spoke to them all but it seems the parents are not co-operative. This is not an isolated case because the pupil is not the only one who did not attend the holiday lesions,” she said.

She terminated the call before we could ask her why she allowed “extra” lessons at the institution, and subsequently did not answer when The Sunday Mail repeatedly tried to contact her again.


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