Parents and guardians with children at Ndangababi Primary School at Cross Dete in Hwange District have chased away five teachers accusing them of incompetence, insubordination and disrespecting traditional and community leaders.
The teachers who were shown the door were only identified as Messrs N T Ngwenya, Maphosa, Ndaguta, Ms Sigauke, and Ms Chisiwa.
Parents and guardians alleged that the teachers hardly conducted lessons as they spent most of their time conducting private business.
Ms Chisiwa is being accused of spending time selling second-hand clothes at Cross Dete Business Centre.
Parents also expressed concern over a sharp drop in the school’s pass rate from 21 percent four years ago to five percent last year and blamed the teachers.
The school development committee convened a meeting which was attended by parents, traditional leaders, representatives of the Dete Residents Association and officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education last Friday.
The meeting resolved that the five teachers should leave the school and were given up to Monday to vacate the school premises.
Officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education told the meeting that the affected teachers will be transferred to other schools.
Initially, 11 teachers were targeted, but the others survived after engagements and the community reportedly agreed to give them a second chance after they publicly apologised.
It is alleged that the school head, one Mr G Ngwenya was having challenges supervising them while the school development committee (SDC) also struggled to execute its duties.
Parents last year wrote a petition to the ministry and took it to Chief Dingane-Nelukoba who endorsed it. Following delays by the ministry to attend to the matter, the community decided to take the matter into its own hands.
With the help of the residents association, the SDC convened a meeting last Friday. During the meeting, parents told ministry officials that the teachers allegedly insult traditional leaders and villagers whenever efforts were being made to engage them.
Two school heads have left the school in the past 10 years after a fallout with the teachers.
Some parents have withdrawn their children from the school and transferred them to others.
Enrolment at Ndangababi Primary School dropped from 627 last year to 512 this term.
The SDC chairperson Mr Barnabas Tshuma said there was nothing personal against the teachers. He said the community was angered by their behaviour and lack of commitment to work.
“We have a problem at the school as teachers don’t respect the head, parents and traditional leaders. The pass rate has also gone down and some parents are now withdrawing their children,” said Mr Tshuma.
“Villagers wrote a petition to the Ministry and the Chief approved it. We then approached the Dete Residents Association for help and that is when the ministry was invited last Friday to attend the meeting.”
Chief Dingane-Nelukoba said he is worried about the situation at the school.
“I sent my two headmen to go and meet the two parties and what worries me is that teachers have been saying they can’t listen to uneducated people. When parents brought their petition for stamping I pleaded with them to give the teachers a second chance, but it didn’t work,” he said.
Dete Residents Association chairperson Mr Douglas Mpofu said: “We looked at the cases of each teacher separately and we recommended that the SDC engages some of them who we believed were under the influence of the seniors and it worked.”
Mr Mpofu said when he approached the school head, he established that parents had raised complaints against the teachers.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education spokesperson Mr Taungana Ndoro said he was yet to get a report from the Matabeleland North provincial education director.