More than 500 learners at Omundudu Combined School, who were withdrawn by their unhappy parents pending investigations and a hearing into the alleged misconduct involving two senior staff, have since returned to school.
Those under investigation include the school’s principal who has since been temporarily transferred to the circuit office and a head of the department, who is reportedly refusing to be transferred to allow for investigations. In March, education ministry Executive Director Sanet Steenkamp charged the duo with misconduct.
Subsequently, they were transferred from the school to different duty stations, with the principal taking up the offer at the circuit office.
However, the head of the department refused to be transferred, citing unfairness in the process. Steenkamp on Wednesday confirmed learners were sent home, saying this was triggered by the unconducive teaching and learning environment at the school as a result of the standoff involving the teacher who is defying the transfer directive.
Steenkamp last week instructed the Ohangwena regional education director Izak Hamatwi to obtain a restraining order against the said teacher to avoid her entering the school premises until investigations are completed.
Nevertheless, Hamatwi yesterday said despite several warnings for the teacher to stop showing up at the school, she remains defiant.
The teacher allegedly continued coming to the school, despite her being removed from the teaching timetable. “The parents opened a case against her at Omungwelume police station last week Tuesday before they withdrew their kids. She remained adamant. She continued to show up.
“Today [yesterday] we are delivering another letter to instruct her to stop going to Omundudu Combined School and officially report to Onepandaulo Combined School where she was transferred,” Hamatwi said.
Steenkamp noted the staff member to date still refuses the written instruction from the ED, who has the prerogative, in terms of Public Service Act, No. 13 of 1995, to transfer a staff member to ensure a conducive environment at a school. According to her, the staff member contributed greatly to the breakdown of trust and a safe school environment, and a non-conducive learning environment.