Top school dismisses child over parent’s social media statements

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RIVERTON Academy, a top private school in Masvingo, has told a parent to “look for other alternative schools” and effectively chased the parent’s child from the school after the parent expressed on social media their displeasure at the school’s demands for fees in foreign currency, among other sentiments.

In a letter to the parent, stamped and signed by the Riverton Academy Headmaster Mr. H Mushandu, the school says:

“The school administration has noted with concern your alignment to a group of people who have castigated, maligned and besmirched the school wherein your child learns….

“In view of the communication that has been made on social media and/or other fora, you appear to be one of the aggrieved parents. The school is therefore advising you to look for an alternative school for your child which can provide facilities and services which suit your taste…”

The school does not even offer the parent a chance to answer to the allegations, nor clarify how they ascertained the parent’s identity from social media platforms.

This week, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education said it has received a report of alleged abuse of learners at Riverton Academy.

This was after a video went viral on social media of Mr. Mashandu canning students with a sjambok.

In a statement, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Tumisang Thabela said on-going investigations relating to the allegation have established that about 79 students at the institution were caned on 12 November 2018.

Mr H. Mushandu indicated that the students were canned for misbehaving on the night of 11 November 2018 between 2200 hours and 2300 hours.

Mrs Thabela indicated that canning of learners is not an acceptable form of learner discipline, adding that the ministry will be engaging various stakeholders, including the learners themselves, to come up with positive forms of discipline in line with the constitution.

“The Head of the school and administration staff are expected to act in loco parentis all the time and to institute any corrective measures where there are case of indiscipline in a professional and acceptable manner,” said Mrs Thabela.

She said the ministry expects the school to establish a conducive teaching and learning environment that encourages learners to perform to their maximum potential.

Riverton Academy is on Riverton farm, a cool environment surrounded by rolling farmland, distant hills and blue skies pegged at 65km from Masvingo along the Masvingo-Mutare highway, just before Bikita Minerals.— ZOOMZimbabwe

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