700 Mukaro High School pupils sneaked out of their dormitories early morning recently and walked to the district education office to protest against water problems and poor food at the school. Authorities at the Catholic-run girls’ boarding school were stunned when they woke up to find the dormitories deserted.
All the pupils from Form 1 to Form 6 walked 20 km to Mpandawana Growth Point in Gutu (Masvingo Province) in protest over food and water shortages. They braved the chilly weather and marched from the school at 2 am to arrive at the district education office at Mpandawana around 6 am.
When news filtered that the pupils had besieged the education offices, a school bus was rushed to ferry them back to school. The bus reportedly made several trips to and from Mpandawana.
According to the pupils, the school authorities’ insensitivity to their plight prompted them to seek the intervention of the Education Ministry. They said acute water shortage at the school posed a danger to health. The pupils are not happy with the quality of services at the school despite each pupil paying around USD 400 per term.
School headmaster, Acquanos Mazhunga, admitted the school was facing problems and said they were rectifying them. “Yes, there are problems here and they are especially to do with water and we are trying to solve them.”
The following day, water supply improved slightly and the authorities pledged to address the quality of food. Students reported for classes at 7:20 am, but gave the school authorities a two-week ultimatum to respond to their grievances or risk another protest.
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