Teen girl collapses after school sends her home over unpaid fees

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A shocking incident unfolded at one of Harare’s prestigious private schools when a 15-year-old student reportedly collapsed after being asked to leave the premises due to outstanding school fees. The distressing episode came to light during court proceedings at the Harare Magistrates Court, where the girl’s mother sought financial support from her estranged husband for the well-being of their five children.

According to the mother’s testimony, her eldest child, a Form 3 student, was deeply affected by the humiliation and emotional turmoil of being sent home over unpaid fees at the highly esteemed institution. The distraught mother revealed that she received a distressing phone call from the school, informing her that her daughter had cried uncontrollably before collapsing.

Blaming her ex-husband, a mechanical engineer, for neglecting their children’s needs, the mother expressed her concerns before the court. However, the father presented a different perspective, asserting that he had arranged a payment plan with the school authorities. He explained that due to various financial responsibilities, including rent, the care of his other minor child from a subsequent marriage, and debts to their former housemaid, he could only afford to pay US$200.

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In his defence, the ex-husband, who revealed an income of US$740, suggested that the mother, who worked as a hairdresser, should also contribute to the children’s maintenance. He reasoned that sharing the financial burden would be fair, given their respective occupations.

After careful consideration of both parties’ arguments, Harare magistrate Meenal Narotam delivered a verdict. The court ordered the father to pay US$200 in monthly maintenance, cover the full school fees, and allocate an additional US$100 for the transportation expenses of their minor children to and from school.

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