By Walter Mswazie
There was drama at Masvingo’s Victoria High School recently when parents nearly exchanged blows with the school head during an annual general meeting (AGM) after he proposed to hike fees to $1 000 from $570 for boarders.
Day scholars pay $184.
The proposed hike irked parents and this reignited allegations that they have been levelling at the school head, Mr John Muzamani, of maladministration and running down the once elite school.
The parents complained that the school was proposing a fees hike when its books have not been audited for the past two years and there was no budget for this school term.
A parent with a child who is in form three called on the provincial education director to reign in Mr Muzamani or transfer him to another school.
“We appeal to the powers that be to transfer Mr Muzamani from Victoria High School as a matter of urgency, preferably to a rural school, he said. We no longer have confidence in his leadership because he has run down this school.”
Another parent charged that the school’s academic performance had deteriorated due to the headmaster’s lack of leadership skills.
“This school used to be one of the academic powerhouses in Masvingo, but is now pale shadow of its former self, it is now a joke, he said. As it is, we are told, there are no Science teachers at Advanced Level.
“The pass rate has drastically dropped with the school failing to score more than 50 percent at both Ordinary and advanced Level every year.”
Mr Muzamani told the parents that the school was performing poorly because it was accepting average pupils.
“I am appealing to parents to allow us to increase fees to at least $1 000 so that we can be able to provide for the pupils up to the end of this term, he said. As for the poor results, it is you parents who give us average pupils and should not expect teachers to perform miracles.
“You can call me names but do not forget that it is me who remain with your children. My employer is fully aware of what is happening here.”
At this point, some parents stood up and advanced towards Mr Muzamani, saying he was being arrogant because he was threatening to deal with their children after the AGM in apparent reference to his earlier statement.
It took the intervention of the provincial Schools Inspector, Mr Cosmas Musasa, who was standing in for the provincial education director at the AGM, to calm the situation.
Mr Musasa appealed to parents to cooperate with the school authorities, as their children’s education was at stake.
“I appeal to you parents to appreciate the school authorities’ efforts in making sure your children get the right education. This is a boarding school where boarders are paying $570 while day scholars pay a paltry $184,” he said. The Herald