Chindunduma High school in sexual abuse storm
By Carlton Makoni
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MOPSE) is investigating two reports of allegations of sexual abuse at a school in Mashonaland Province.
The Ministry’s spokesperson, TaunganaNdoro confirmed receipt of an official report citing the two recent incidents at Chindunduma High School near Shamva in Mashonaland Central province.
The two incidents implicate a teacher, who is understood to have resigned immediately after his sexual abuse conduct became known; the second incident implicates a student, who has since been expelled from the school.
While the case involving the teacher is believed to have taken place earlier, the one involving the student reportedly happened in March this year.
In confirming possession of the report, Ndoro described the situation at the school, saying, “the wheels had come off”.
Of immediate concern however, he said, the provision of psychosocial support to the victim. It was not immediately clear whether there is just one victim or more.
The MOPSE provincial and district mechanism ,Ndoro said, had been activated in order to ensure that the victim, he described as “traumatised and disinterested” receives proper and adequate support from the team of counsellors and psychologists the Ministry has scrambled together to provide “care, counselling and guidance”.
Among the issues, the probe by the Ministry will try to establish is whether the student implicated in the alleged sexual abuse was himself a victim of the teacher who resigned abruptly.
The Ministry, Ndoro said, is not clear where the teacher is.
Measures that have been taken by the Ministry, Ndoro explained, were meant to avoid incidents of this nature at the school in future.
“This is very important for us in order to avoid cases of this nature in future. Care, guidance and counselling were absent from the school policies or implementation.
“So, this is the strategy we have put in place. We are going to review this on a monthly or termly basis. There were no policies, therefore, allowing the situation to crumble.”
Parents who contacted New Ziana had threatened to confront the school administration at the next scheduled meeting in their quest to get an explanation of how this had come about and more importantly, the lack of communication on the incidents at the school.
Parents accused the school’s administration of being pre-occupied in trying to sweep the matter under the carpet without considering the psychological implications of the sexual abuse on children who were victimised.