Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Nyazura Adventist Secondary School headmaster Mr Onias Tendere is under fire for allegedly violating children’s rights after sending home a Form One pupil a week after the beginning of this school term because he was not personally involved in the child’s enrolment.
The boy’s parents argued that they had been offered a place through the school secretary and had paid all fees and bought uniforms.
When an altercation ensued between the parents and the headmaster over the expulsion of the boy, the parents had to withdraw their daughter who was in Form Three at the same school in protest. The relationship was so bad that it was no longer safe to leave the girl at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church institution.
It is the father’s argument that the children’s right to education was violated despite the fact that the children had nothing to do with the enrolment and that if there was any communication breakdown, it was among the school authorities.
The father argued that he spent $2 359 on the children’s fees, transport, uniforms, groceries, levies and other items only to be told eight days later that the headmaster had expelled them.
The parents, through their lawyer Mr Charles Nyika of Nyika Kanengoni and Partners, wrote a letter to the headmaster demanding a refund of $2 359 within 24-hours of service. Failure by the school to pay the refund will result in the parents issuing out summons against the school and Mr Tendere in his personal capacity.
“It is in view of the afore going that our client has been most constrained to make this demand that:
“He (father) should be compensated to the full of his loss within the next 24 hours by yourself in your personal capacity and the school, one paying the other to be absolved, in the sum of $2 359 failing which they shall be no hesitation, in terms of our instructions, to issue summons against yourself and the school.
“That you refund, within 24 hours of receipt of this letter, all amounts paid by our client to the school, in pursuance of the school’s decision to admit two minor children into the school, failing which we also have instructions to issue summons and claim costs against your person and the school,” reads a letter by lawyer Mr Nyika.
The letter was also copied to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Lazarus Dokora, Secretary for the ministry and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church head office.
Mr Nyika said the children, who are now out of school, were deprived of their right to education.
“They are out of school and they have been deprived of their right to basic education, more so in light of the fact that they know, and fully appreciate that their parents have not done anything wrong and this is a pure case of victimisation, possibly emanating from issues within your organisation that spilled over to affect innocent minor children,” reads the letter.
Mr Nyika said it is not the headmaster who does the enrolment but the school as an institution.
“It is the school that admits the children and not the headmaster.
“The mere acceptance of payment, in full, into the school account, was an acceptance on the enrolment of the children.
“They were therefore legitimately enrolled at the school,” Mr Nyika said.
The children, according to the lawyer, went through emotional pain and suffering at the hands of the school.
“The emotional pain and suffering occasioned by your harassment to the minor children, one of whom you, on several occasions interrogated forcing him to admit to things that he had not done, or that he was not aware of, or that he could not possibly have done, have had such a negative impact on the minor child and he appears so disoriented that he seems to have lost hope and interest in his studies, this being a direct result of your nefarious attitude,” the letter reads.