TEACHERS at a school in Tsholotsho District that failed to open after they fled to their respective homes following goblin attacks last week, have demanded that villagers put up in their rooms to witness the mystery.
It is understood that the suspected goblin attacks, on both female and male teachers at Dlakapiya Primary School, were mostly sexual.
The teachers who had returned last Sunday to the school ahead of school opening, returned to their homes, following alleged goblin attacks, and then came back to the school on Friday.
Following endless meetings last week, villagers said it was agreed that they put up in all the teachers’ bedrooms so that they could witness as well as protect them from the goblins that were terrorising them, awaiting a cleansing ceremony.
A villager, Olman Ndlovu (a former SDC secretary) said villagers were taking turns to put up at the teachers’ cottages until the school was cleansed.
“After begging the teachers to return to the school, we promised that we would ensure a cleansing ceremony was done and so we are still enquiring and seeking authority from the area chief. The Ministry of Education has agreed that we do whatever was agreed between both teachers and the community.
“Upon their return, teachers then said they would only stay at the school if we guarded them throughout the nights so that they may not suffer abuse. This was agreed as a way to ensure that our children don’t miss out on lessons,” he said.
Ndlovu said he was hoping lessons had commenced even if they were still running around to find a suitable sangoma or prophet to come and cleanse the school.
Matabeleland North provincial education director Jabulani Mpofu last week confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm we received a report of a school that has not opened yet due to alleged goblin attacks which saw teachers returning to their homes after having arrived at the school on Sunday ahead of schools opening.
“All teachers had abandoned the school the following morning, claiming to have been attacked and abused by alleged goblins. Yes, it’s an issue that has constantly been raised by teachers, and as we speak, I am told, the situation was actually worse towards school closing last term,” he said.
“We are still investigating the matter and will get more information from the district education officer. At the moment we do not know where the pupils and teachers are,” said Mpofu.
He added that teachers had a right to work at a safe place hence such issues were beyond the ministry but needed the community to help.
Mpofu said the community had sought permission to conduct a cleansing ceremony and teachers had returned to the school.
“It is said that the suspected goblins are sexually abusing both male and female teachers. There have been talks between the community and the school staff and we hope a progressive decision was made and lessons commence with immediate effect,” Mpofu said.
According to sources in the area, teachers reportedly would hear strange knocks on their doors, banging of tables as well as footsteps including on roofs with no one in sight.
Villagers have been holding meetings to find a way forward.
Sources said it was agreed that they engage sangomas or prophets to cleanse the school.
Goblin attacks at schools in the province have been prevalent over the years.
In February, 2017, Tiki Primary School in Lupane District shut down after teachers sought refuge at a police camp following attacks by suspected goblins.
In 2016, teachers at Sibangani Primary School in the same district fled from the institution claiming goblins were sexually abusing them.
In 2015, teachers at Siyangaya Primary School in Tsholotsho also fled from the school claiming that a baboon was having sex with them at night.
Another school in the province, Nengasha Primary School in Hwange was last year also affected by suspected goblins and was opened days into the third term.