Friday, 17 December 2021

SCHOOL THREATENS TO DETAIN PUPILS OVER CHRISTMAS

A private school in Masvingo has threatened to detain learners, whose fees are in arrears, throughout the Christmas holidays.

In a letter seen by H-Metro and addressed to parents, the school learners with outstanding fees will not be released at the end of the term.

This means they will remain at the school premises throughout the Christmas and New Year holidays until the balance has been settled.

The fees include top-ups for both the June-August online lessons and additional days for the last term, which was recently extended.

The school, which is among the most expensive in the country, claims it advised parents of its stance in the November 19th reminder.

“We have observed that you still have not yet paid in full your fees for the June-August online lessons as well as the additional days’ fees since our last reminder on the 19th of November, 2021.

“Please note that all students with outstanding fees will remain at school over Christmas holiday until their parents pay up,” reads part of the controversial memo.

“If you wish to pay in cash you may do so at the school premises on closing day and also at our Masvingo town office…

“If you have already made the payment may you please email us the proof of payment so that we may update your child’s account.

“Please treat this communication with the seriousness it deserves.”

With public schools expected to close today, concerns have been raised over the threats and whether the school has the powers to detain pupils.

Riverton Academy’s managing director, Elvas Mari who is also mentioned in the letter as the contact person, was not available for comment yesterday.

Mari claimed he was travelling and was not in any position to share any further information.

A legal expert, Brighton Pabwe, said the parents had a right to sue if the detentions goes ahead.

“This is clearly unlawful. The school can approach the court for unpaid fees because the contract is between the institution and the parents.

“The parents can also report the matter to the police as any detention beyond the day the school is closed can border on kidnapping,” said Pabwe. H Metro

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