By Fairness Moyana
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has transferred 15 senior teachers and their headmistress from Ndangababi Primary School in Dete following a fallout with the community over the issue of goblins that are alleged to have terrorised them.
Education authorities said the school would have new teachers when schools open tomorrow.
Villagers pressured education authorities at a meeting last month to transfer the teachers, suggesting that they may either have been faking that there were goblins at the school or some of them owned the tikoloshes.
This was after the teachers allegedly boycotted a meeting convened by Chief Nelukoba and attended by the District Education Officer, Lovemore Ncube among others to resolve the matter.
In an interview, Matabeleland North Provincial Education Director Boithatelo Mnguni said the transfers of all the affected teachers as well as the headmistress, Sithabile Vicky, was done due to the bad blood between the teachers and the community over the goblins issue.
“We have agreed to give the school a new crop of teachers in order to restore harmony between the teachers and parents. The affected ones have been transferred to other schools within the district while the DEO is looking for their replacements, which of course won’t be much of a problem considering that the school is along a highway and hence is going to attract qualified personnel to man the station. However, we are going to adopt a wait and see attitude to see if things are going to return to normal,” she said.
At last month’s meeting, village heads alleged the goblins were linked to serious infighting at the school and claimed some teachers were refusing to be led by a woman and were “cooking up” stories to force transfers. “There are some teachers who even mobilised members of the community not to accept Vicky (headmistress). What is clear is that there are some teachers who want the post of headmaster to an extent of cooking stories to force transfers,’’ said one contributor.
However, teachers who spoke to Chronicle stuck to their goblins story. “At one point we heard children crying outside and we warned each other not to go outside as we didn’t know what was happening especially when movements would be heard on the rooftops of the cottages,” said one teacher.
Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe Matabeleland North provincial coordinator Never Nyaunzvi said it was unfortunate that the root cause of the goblins issue was not addressed and accused the community elders of judging teachers based on failure to attend the chief’s meeting and not the issue at hand. Chronicle