'Demonic attacks' disrupt exams at Mvula JSS

25 Mar 2014 19:30pm
OMAALALA, 25 MAR (NAMPA) – Mvula Junior Secondary School (JSS) at Omaalala village continues to be plagued by incidences which are being described as “demonic attacks”.
The village is situated in the Oshana Region’s Ongwediva Constituency.
The latest incidents which occurred on Tuesday prevented the commencement of examinations at the school.
A small number of learners have been affected by the so-called demonic attacks, which is thought to in actual fact be hysteria, since 04 February this year.
Mvula Junior Secondary School principal Werner Muzanima told Nampa the number of affected learners increased from six to nine learners on Tuesday.
The phenomenon has affected learners in Grades Eight to 10, with the majority (six) being girls.
The situation at the school was chaotic, and the Oshindonga examinations that were set to take place on the same day were postponed to Wednesday as the affected learners would not stop screaming and rolling around on the classroom floors.
The school management later locked them up in a classroom where they waited for their parents to collect them as they also tried to escape from the school ground.
In February, the affected learners were temporarily placed in the care of their parents to give them time to recuperate.
Muzanima said earlier that some of them were taken to the hospital where they were diagnosed as suffering from emotional problems.
The affected children are said to be aged between 13 and 16 years, and most of them are friends. “All of them are accusing another learner of being bewitching them,” some of the learners said while speaking to this news agency at the school on Tuesday morning.
The accused learner is reportedly disturbed by the accusations and has stopped attending school. The parents of three of the affected learners are said to have taken their children to prayer sessions at the homestead of a clergyman at the nearby Onelago village since February.
Mvula JSS has a population of 336 learners in Grades Eight to 10.
Oshilemba Combined School (CS) in the Omusati Region has also been affected by the same problem over the past three years.
Some community members have accused the principal and a female teacher at Oshilemba CS of being the cause of the alleged demonic attack and demand the removal of the duo.
During a meeting held at the school with acting director of education, Loide Shatiwa in January, the acting director however dismissed the parents’ claims, saying mass hysteria is to blame and the children just need counselling.