PARENTS WITHDRAW PUPILS OVER FEES
PARENTS with children at Bradford Senior School yesterday withdrew their children from attending lessons in protest over increased fees.
They bulldozed into the school premises and clashed with security guards while demanding to see the headmaster Eriveti Elevate Mukanhairi and the owner of the school.
Their decision to withdraw their children followed an ugly incident last week on Monday where the parents invaded the school administration offices demanding explanation on increase in fees.
One of the disgruntled parents told H-Metro that Mukanhairi disregarded Government directive that school fees be increased by 33 percent.
“We decided to withdraw our children from attending school in protest against the headmaster who is refusing to have a dialogue with parents and an unprecedented increase in school fees against Government directive,” said the parent.
“We came on the opening day demanding to meet him but he refused and locked doors.
“We agreed as parents to form a WhatsApp group and it is in that group that we agreed to withdraw our children to express our displeasure over his actions, demanding to see owner of the school.
“He does not want a school development committee where we can express our needs; instead he lied that there was a committee which is not known to all of us as parents.
“We agreed to choose members to represent us since the headmaster is not cooperating with us and we will not leave the premises until they meet our representatives.
“The school increased fees from US$260 to US$405 when we expected an increase of 33 percent to US$346 as directed by Government.
“One letter to the parents indicated that only children who paid US$60 dollars were going to access online lessons in July but now they are demanding the money from every child,” said the parent.
Mukanhairi through an unidentified senior teacher refused to entertain H-Metro arguing that he wanted to seek clearance from the ministry’s provincial education director.
“The headmaster is busy in a meeting with representatives of the parents to find a solution and cannot entertain you.
“You may leave your contact numbers so that he calls you after receiving clearance from the provincial education director,” she said.
However, a letter dated 29th June 2021 addressed to parents by the school reads;
“After wide spread consultations, the school has resolved that learners pay US$60 per month until term reopens.
“Lessons are scheduled to start on 1st July 2021 at 8am.
“Only paid learners will be added into the online classes and payments are to be done by 30th June 2021 so that they are added into these lessons,” reads the letter.
In the school third term newsletter to the parents on online lessons during lockdown period the school informed parents that;
“It has to be stressed and clarified that online lessons were compulsory, those who decided not to attend did so at their own disadvantage.
“So from that position, if a parent has not paid the above amount, the balance is now overdue,” read the newsletter.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education director of Communications and Advocacy Taungana Ndoro urged parents to consider other schools around them which offer quality education.
“It is unfortunate if the parents have withdrawn their children from attending school,” said Ndoro. “The ministry is yet to receive the report.
“As a ministry, we have always warned Bradford School over operating without engaging parents.
“There is nowhere a school within a community operates in isolation without the involvement of parents who support them,” said Ndoro.
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