Thursday, 4 January 2018

POWER CUT AT CHURCH RUN SCHOOL OVER DEBT

PUPILS at a Roman Catholic Church-run secondary boarding school in Matabeleland South have been bathing at a nearby river after electricity was cut last year due to a $20 000 debt, affecting water supply.

Ahead of the re-opening of schools next week, parents allege that Ekusileni Secondary School situated in Insiza District does not have facilities befitting a learning institution of its status.

One parent who declined to be named said the school was running without electricity making it impossible to pump water resulting in children bathing in a nearby river.

“We pay $420 in fees and it’s ridiculous that the school does not provide basic services. Our children are forced to bath in the nearby Insiza River and the school being a boarding institution is running without electricity, meaning our children cannot attend evening studies. 
Electricity was cut at the school following a Zesa debt amounting to $20 000 last year,” said the parent.

He said the failure to provide efficient services has seen a mass exodus of learners from the school.

The parent said at the end of last term enrolment figures plunged to nearly 50 pupils for classes from Form One to Four.

“We do not understand how a big institution like the Roman Catholic Church can fail to properly run the iconic school which has moved from being a co-ed school to a girls only,” said a parent.
Matabeleland South Acting Provincial Education Director Mr Lifias Masukume said the school’s issue was being handled by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Dr Sylvia Utete-Masango.

The head of the Catholic church in Matabeleland, Archbishop Alex Thomas, yesterday acknowledged that there were some challenges at the institution.

“We’ve been in engagement with the provincial education office, we have also engaged the Permanent Secretary who promised to come down one of these days. She promised to come in. We have done our discussions with the education team,” said Archbishop Thomas.
“Every school, every institution in Zimbabwe has got a lot of debts you know that. That is a natural thing.

“It is common in the country. I’m sure it will be cleared as time goes on. Parents are free to withdraw or bring a child to a school of their choice. We cannot force a parent to bring a child to a particular school. It’s a choice of the parents.” Chronicle

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