By A Correspondent- Truant Form Two female pupils allegedly sneaked out and went on a drinking binge in the company of male partners from the community in a juvenile delinquency case that rocked St Patrick’s High School in Nyanyadzi recently.
Manicaland Provincial Education Director, Mr Edward Shumba, confirmed that the Chimanimani District Schools Inspector was told by the school authorities that “nothing like that even happened at the school”.
“I have just talked to the DSI, and he says the authorities at the school say there is nothing like that,” said Mr Shumba.
However, School Development Committee (SDC) chairperson, Mr Canaan Matiashe, confirmed the incident.
“We are worried as the SDC that the standards of discipline are deteriorating at St Patrick’s High School. The authorities at the school are not even engaging the SDC on how best we can assist each other on pupils’ disciplinary issues.
“The incident you are talking about happened on October 6. It is a public secret around Nyanyadzi as the pupils in question were seen partying with male companions from the community.
“A lot is happening at the school without any checks and balances,” said Mr Matiashe.
Sources told this newspaper that the trio — two boarders and a day-learner — all in Form Two, allegedly paid a security staff member at the school to find their way out of the school.
That the pupils are no longer at the school has left many around Nyanyadzi assuming that they were expelled without any legal interventions to allegations of se_xual abuse believed to have been committed when the young girls sneaked out.
Mr Shumba said: “What normally happens, according to Education Policy 35, is that if a child is involved in any form of mischief, he or she is suspended for two weeks pending investigations into the matter at hand. The parents or guardians are brought into the picture. You do not expel a child just like that.”
The school chaplain, Father Eugene Okere, refused to discuss the matter with this reporter on Wednesday afternoon.
“Every institution has rules that it follows. The same applies to us here at St Patrick’s Mission. Go back to your sources, and get the correct information, and then call the education secretary who is there in Mutare. You can even walk from your offices to the Cathedral, you can find him there,” he said.
When contacted for comment, Roman Catholic Church Mutare Diocese’s education secretary, Mr Lawrence Chibvuri, who initially was not aware of the matter before reaching out to Father Okere on Wednesday afternoon, said: “I managed to talk to our official on the ground after you made that inquiry. He said he had been trying to call me after you (this reporter) had phoned him.
“He confirmed that the incident happened, and they advised the parents of the involved children to find alternative schools for their children because it would be difficult for the three children to continue at St Patrick’s.
“It appears the removal of the pupils was after mutual consent by parents and the school authorities. I will have to go there and be on the ground to carry out my own investigations. That is when I can give a comprehensive comment. What I have given you is only based on what the chaplain told me over the phone this afternoon after you had made an inquiry into the matter.”-ManicaPost