10 June 2010

Zambia: Witchcraft Scares Away Teachers

PUPILS at Lunyike Basic School in Chipata have not been learning for two weeks because teachers have allegedly fled fearing witchcraft.

Eight teachers have so far been reported to have requested for immediate transfers following reports of witchcraft.

Lunyike Parent Teachers Association (PTA) vice chairperson, Atron Zulu confirmed that all the teachers at the school had left.

And the Ministry of Education said it was doing everything possible to normalise the situation at the school situated in Paramount Chief Mpezeni's area.

Chipata District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Kezias Lungu said his office had sent a new head teacher and deputy to the school.

He explained that his office was also trying to convince some teachers to move to the school.

Mr Lungu explained that it had not been easy to transfer teachers to the school because of the alleged reports of witchcraft in the area.

In another development, the PTA at Cronje Basic School in Chipata District has locked up the office of the deputy headteacher.

Cronje Basic School PTA chairperson, Maiko Mawelela, confirmed the development yesterday the PTA closed the office for the deputy headteacher on Wednesday last week because they wanted her to explain how finances paid by pupils for the electrification exercise was spent while the head teacher was on leave.

The PTA accused the deputy headteacher of refusing to cooperate with other members of staff adding that she has no regard for the PTA committee.

A check on Tuesday by a Times reporter found the office of the deputy headteacher at the Reformed Church in Zambia run school completely locked.

And school headteacher, Steve Mwale, who also acknowledged the closure of the deputy headteachers' office, said he was not aware of the decision made by the PTA to close the office.

And when contacted for a comment, RCZ, education board secretary, Chuluchaminga Nkhata, said he was not aware of the incident.

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