TOWNSEND High School in Bulawayo has been forced to release Ordinary Level certificates for two indebted former students after the latter engaged a lawyer and threatened legal action against the school.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The school had withheld the 2013 and 2014 “O” Level certificates for Tanaka and Takudzwa Ngwasha over outstanding tuition fees. The two wrote their “O” Level examinations in 2013 and 2014 respectively, but the school authorities only released the result slips and withheld the certificates demanding payment of the outstanding tuition fees.
Lizwe Jamela and Nosimilo Chanayiwa from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), in a letter of intent to sue Townsend High, said withholding “O” Level results for the pair was illegal.
Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister, Paul Mavhima [CAPTION]
“Even in the event that there were outstanding payments to be made, it is unlawful in terms of our law to take any action against a student because of outstanding school fees. Other legal routes can be pursued against the parent or responsible person for the recovery of the money,” the lawyers said in a letter dated February 8 2016.
“We are advised that you have taken use of such legal remedies and as such we point out to you that withholding results of certificates amounts to unlawful action on your part.”
According to the letter, the two sisters were only given result slips but not original certificates, a situation that made it difficult for them to enrol at colleges or universities to further their studies.
Townsend High School head, a Mrs Moyo in a letter addressed to the ZLHR dated February 9 said: “Reference is made on the issue of withheld O-Level certificates for Tanaka and Takudzwa Ngwasha. Please advise your clients to collect their certificates from the bursars’ office between 2pm and 4pm from Monday to Friday.”
Last week, Primary and Secondary Education deputy minister, Paul Mavhima warned schools against withholding results over outstanding fees, saying the practice was illegal.