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Chaos at Mutare Junior as parents resist hot-seating

There was chaos at Mutare Junior School’s Border Hill Grade One satellite centre on Tuesday after irate parents clashed with officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education over the introduction of hot-seating.

Chaos at Mutare Junior as parents resist hot-seating
Chaos at Mutare Junior as parents resist hot-seating

The centre has a capacity to accommodate 180 pupils but figures of children wanting enrol there rose to more than 300.

Mutare District education officer, Mr Nathaniel Machini, who was accompanied by several officials from the ministry, had a torrid moment explaining the new position.

Incensed parents argued that hot- seating would badly affect the quality of education at the school while some said it was harsh for the ministry to introduce hot-seating to Grade One pupils.

They proposed that the exercise should begin from Grade 3.

“Our children are still young and it will be harsh for you to make them experience hot-seating,” said a parent.

Others questioned the school authority’s wisdom to enrol more pupils beyond its capacity.

“You know very well that you only accommodate 180 pupils, why then did the numbers rise to 300. You should have done the noble thing to tell those who did not make the numbers to look for places elsewhere.

“If you insist on hot-seating our children are better off learning in tents while we construct additional classroom blocks to accommodate them,” said another parent.

Mr Machini disagreed saying it was dangerous during this rainy season for children to do classes in tents as they will be vulnerable to lightning.

‘I don’t want to be held responsible if lightning strikes and kill pupils in tents.

“We received a directive that every child must be accommodated and hot-seating is the only option,” he said.

Yearly, enrolment problems face the primary school, which has a wonderful record of producing good results, as parents stampede to have their children get places.

The rush for places has seen children who are not from the school’s catchment area getting places ahead of those from the vicinity, a situation that has created disgruntlement.

The places bottlenecks have resulted in allegations of corruption and bribery by those who carry out the process. Manica Post