Arusha. As the school owner in Arusha remains in police custody over the near fatal shooting on Tuesday,calls are being made to screen the private schools to find out their emoluments schemes.
Stakeholders have warned of a danger of some private schools being interested in minting money only from the high fees they charge than in the welfare of their staff. “I normally hear problems of payments from the teachers of these schools. There are challenges in prompt payment of salaries,” said Andrea Ngobole, a college tutor based here said yesterday.
Mr Ngobole said he was not surprised by the incident at Usa River Academy in which its owner opened fire on teachers protesting against non-payment of their salary arrears for months.
He declined to go into the depth of the matter, which is currently in police hands, but noted that teachers working in the private schools were facing a host of problems besides unclear salary schemes.
“They don’t have explicit work contracts. Some are even not recognised by the national teachers’ bodies because they trained in colleges not licensed to operate by the ministry”, he said.
Mr Ngobole, currently teaching in a journalism college here, warned that some owners of the academies may be much interested in the profits from their “investments” rather than quality education.
An Arusha resident, Mr Jaffar Walii, accused some privately run academies in and around Arusha of generating millions of shillings from the fees charged than what they offered.
“You would find a primary school kid having to go with text books and reams worth Sh400,000 to Sh500,000. What a colossal amount! And this is exclusive of fees and other charges,” he said.
Walter Maeda, the Arusha regional Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) official, said he knew Robert Michael Naibala alias Robert Naibala Lucumay who is being accused of opening fire towards his staff.
“He used to run some businesses in Arusha before he opened the school. This incident has shocked all of us here,” he said.
Efforts to find out the situation at the Usa River Academy, located some 25 kilometres along the Moshi highway, proved futile as none of its officials could be reached.
Earlier the regional police commander, Mr Ramadhan Ng’anzi, told reporters that the suspect, Mr Naibala, 66, was still in police custody as investigations in the incident continue.
The school director is alleged to open fire using his short gun at the metal gate of the school after he was locked out by teachers who were demanding their salary arrears.
Two of about 20 teachers were injured. The RPC said the suspect was a licensed gun holder and that his firearm had a registration number TZ CAR 75437.