Students go on the rampage over fees

MASERU — Students at Mt Tabor High School in Mafeteng went on the rampage last week accusing the school authorities of inflating tuition and book fees, the Lesotho Times heard this week.

The students vandalised school property, destroyed a computer and science laboratory, the kitchen, staffroom and some classrooms during the protest.

The school’s principal, James Dimu, refused to comment on the incident when he was approached yesterday.

But Senior Superintendant Mpota Nthako from Mafeteng police said a case of malicious damage to property has been opened. Nthako said that no arrests have been made yet but investigations were going on.

“We are working together with the school to find those who were responsible for the damage,” he said.

Sources at the school told this paper that the students said they suspected that management had inflated tuition and book fees.

“The students claimed that they discovered they were given forms to fill that showed that the quarterly tuition fee is M400 yet they had paid M600.

“They also said the forms indicated that their book fee is M250 yet they were made to pay M300,” the sources said.

The student also wanted the management to return their mobile phones and food that had been confiscated the previous day.

“Students in boarding said their phones, cereals and other food stuffs were taken away without any explanation.”

The sources said the students complained that they were treated harshly by the school authorities.

“They complained that management was not giving them an audience when they want to express their grievances,” the sources added.

The strike is said to have started around 2pm just before afternoon lessons began.

“The police were called when a mob of students started to break doors and windows.

“Within a short time the school premises were full of destroyed property. The students only stopped when the police came.”

Sources told this paper that the school has since been closed while renovations are being done. Parents were called for a meeting on Saturday, they said.

Ring leaders who are suspected to have led the strike were yesterday called by the school for questioning.

It is not yet known when classes will commence.

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