Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

7 April 2014

Tanzania: Teachers Strike Over Destroyed Maize Farm

Sumbawanga — KWELA Secondary School in Sumbawanga District , Rukwa Region, have refused to teach, demanding to be compensated their maize crop destroyed by rowdy students two months ago valued at over 10m/-.

Acting Sumbawanga District Council Education Officer , Mr Dismas Mwingira, told the 'Daily News' in an interview that the school's board sent home all the 320 students on February 26 , this year, for 21 days for allegedly invading and destroying eight hectares of maize farms belonging to their teachers.

According to Mr Mwingira, the board also ordered all the students to pay school fees and other contributions before being readmitted to school.

Mr Mwingira explained that on March 17, this year, all the students reported to school ready to resume classes, but the aggrieved teachers refused to teach them unless they were compensated by the students the cost of the damaged maize crop.

"Following a heated debate between the teachers, the parents as well as guardians of the students and members of the school's board, it was decided that the students should report to school despite their teachers' unwillingness to teach them," he added.

However, he hinted that a move to identify the culprits proved futile since no arrest had been made and hence all the students were now presumed to have taken part in the crop destruction.

Mr Mwingira further said that after further discussions it was agreed that each student pay 25,000/- as compensation for the destroyed maize crop.

Kwela Secondary School is a co-educational day school, although a few students, mostly female students, were being accommodated at school's hostel.

Early February, this year, rowdy students invaded the teachers' 8-hectare maize farm and slashed the plants when protesting against corporal punishment or being forced to weed the teachers' farm as a punishment.

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