Augustineum rotting!

• Staff abuse school funds • Sex rife between teachers and learners
A Government-sanctioned probe has unearthed shocking revelations at a Windhoek school, following a nasty internal confrontation in March.

Sexual relations between teachers and learners, the use of school development funds for cash-loan purposes among staffers, and general teacher absenteeism were some of the shocking findings of a Government-sanctioned probe conducted at Augustineum Secondary School two months ago.

Like eagles on a hare, teachers have been helping themselves to school funds for their own use - with one of them borrowing N$15 500 in 2009/2010 and another getting N$15 430, which has now been repaid.

A cleaner at the State-owned school also borrowed N$1 500 from school coffers and paid back the money in three instalments, the report reveals.

Interviews with learners revealed that some of the teachers were not well prepared for lessons and although they gave homework, they did not mark it.

The heads of departments did not accept responsibility for tasks given to them. The same applied to some teachers who did not want to carry out their tasks as they knew management did not control or visit classes.

“This is a clear indication that management can be held accountable for the failure of the school,” stated the report.

The probe revealed that some teachers are involved in sexual relationships with learners, and sex-for-marks scam is highly suspected.

The investigation also confirmed teachers’ absenteeism and the use of school facilities by outsiders.

The report found that teachers in charge of collecting the school development funds did not make regular deposits and therefore some discrepancies were detected in the books. The report showed that a number of teachers borrowed from it or used this money for personal purposes, and they had to re-pay in instalments.

“Currently the school operates on a budget that was not endorsed by the School Board nor approved by the parents,” stated the report.

It was also revealed that there was no effective system of continuous monitoring of academic and other activities in place. The school principal and the heads of departments did not conduct any class visits to any teacher this year. Such visits were only done last year but it was only to six teachers.

The continuous assessment (CA) marks were not controlled by management and some teachers could not give written proof of the CA marks. Most teachers did not keep comprehensive assessment record of CA assignments, tests and examination marks, even for Grade 10.

Even more shocking is the revelation that some teachers gave ‘ghost marks’ to learners.
Learners and teachers are not proud to be associated with the school because it is frequently in the media and because of its poor performance, they said. This has affected the school success at canvassing sponsorships.

Deputy Minister of Education Dr David Namwandi requested an investigation to be carried out after chaos erupted on the school premises in March. The school principal, Beatrice Losper, claimed at a morning meeting that learners and teachers wanted to bewitch her.

The accusations created chaos and teachers and learners used the platform to speak out on problems they were facing at the school when the media visited the school five months ago.
This prompted Namwandi to sanction a probe in June, whose report Namibian Sun has now obtained.

A team from the Office of the Under-Secretary for Formal Education conducted the probe at the Khomasdal-based school that boasts over 1 000 learners and 42 teachers.

Approached for comment yesterday Namwandi said he will not tell the media what action they his ministry will take.

He said the ministry would love to see justice take its course and the press and public will be informed in due course. Namwandi said Government will not allow the school to collapse.

“Whoever is transgressing, or not following laid-down procedures, will face the wrath of the law. Having affairs with learner(s) is a crime and the ministry will not condone it,” he said.

Author: 
WINDHOEK - SELMA IKELA
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