School Board Grumbles about New Teacher

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By William J. Mbangula

OSHAKATI

School board members of Etunda Combined School have accused education authorities of unfair recruitment procedures that resulted in a schoolteacher allegedly being imposed on them by the school head and an inspector.

The complaint is a sequel to an incident recently where a teacher who allegedly did not go through an interview and did not meet prescribed requirements was imposed on the school board by the principal and the inspector of education in Omusati Region.

“One day I came to the school to do my private business only to be approached by the school principal that I should sign a document confirming the appointment of a teacher who was not interviewed by us.

“As far as I can recall such position was not advertised with the consent of the school board because if this was the case, other people could have applied and a fair and transparent selection process be effected under the supervision and control of the school board.

“We want fairness in the recruitment of public servants and management of the school but these seem to be stifled by the higher authorities in education,” complained a board member.

The teacher at the centre of the dispute is Aili Thomas Kainekelewa, who was brought to the school as a teacher for social studies and home ecology despite the fact that there is no shortage in that area.

A source at Etunda Combined School told New Era that the recruitment of wrong teachers is one of the contributing factors to the high failure rate of learners at the end of each year.

The school in question, led by NANTU Regional Coordinator Leonard Nekwaya, is reported to be one of the most under-performing ones in Omusati Region.

Among the 22 learners who sat for the Grade 10 examinations last year, only three managed to pass the end-of-year tests.

With the appointment of an alleged unfit teacher through wrong procedures, it said, the situation is not expected to improve at all.

Approached for comment, the Inspector of Education Gehas Kaapangelwa confirmed the appointment of Kainekelwa at Etunda Combined School, which he said was done procedurally since the minutes of the school board meeting were made available to him.

In his view, anyone who has reported the matter to New Era might have a hidden agenda to tarnish the image of the school and the education authorities in Omusati Region.

Said Kaapangelwa: “I am sure that the matter was discussed by the board where a quorum was met.

“It is possible that those board members who are complaining are the ones who were absent on that specific day.

“I am also surprised that they have chosen to bring their complaints to the media instead of following the right channels of approaching the principal and my office at Onesi.”

Asked whether the new teacher was interviewed, Kaapangelwa said he could neither confirm nor deny that since such information was not made available to him.

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