Sunday March 16 2014

Pupils, parents clash over transfer of head teacher

Parents demanding for the transfer of Mr

Parents demanding for the transfer of Mr Charles Ebong, the Aboko Primary School head teacher, raise their hands during a meeting in Apac District on Friday. PHOTO BY BILL OKETCH 

By Bill Oketch


Angry pupils of Aboko Primary School in Aduku Town Council in Apac District on Friday clashed with parents who demanded the transfer of their head teacher, Mr Charles Ebong.

The parents accuse Mr Ebong, who has served as a head teacher of the school for 12 years, of failure to improve academic performance.
He also faces accusation of mismanagement of school funds, according to a complaint filed at the Apac Anti-Corruption Coalition (TAACC) on February 11.

On Friday, TAACC convened a meeting at the school playground to give the head teacher the opportunity to be heard.

Pupils were chased away from the meeting after witnessing a drama presentation, but they reportedly defied the order to leave.
They instead hid behind classrooms and stormed the meeting after parents asked the district authorities to transfer Mr Ebong.

When the parents started grilling the head teacher and the school management committee members, the pupils shouted them down.
The pupils said under Mr Ebong’s leadership, the school’s academic performance has steadily improved.They said transferring Mr Ebong would impede the progress registered.

The district inspector of schools, Ms Margaret Okunyu, said her office in consultation with the district education officer, had agreed that Mr Ebong be retained to enable him follow an ongoing land case in court.

A section of parents have sued the school, claiming ownership of the 21-acre land on which the school is located.

Mr Jimmy Agaba, the head of the criminal investigations department in Apac, observed that what happened on Friday indicated that the parents were tired of the head teacher because he had overstayed at the school.
He appealed to the education department to transfer Mr Ebong to another school for the sake of peace.

Mr Ebong denied the accusations, adding: “When the district education officer says I should leave, I will leave because he is my boss.” He said some of the parents are demanding his transfer because he blocked their attempts to grab the school’s land.

The school
Aboko Primary School in Apac District, which was constructed in 1958, currently has 1,053 pupils.