Albertina Nakale WINDHOEK - The principal of Oshigambo High School Hendrik Shikonda has been suspended to pave the way for an investigation that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin) has instituted over alleged mismanagement of the school. The school is owned and run by Elcin, with the assistance of a subsidy from the government. It is alleged the school principal was involved in maladministration whereby school development funds were misused. It is alleged that the school’s financial books are in a shambles as no proper auditing of funds was carried out independently. Shikonda did not want to comment on his suspension but rather referred New Era to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture. The spokesperson in the education ministry, Abasalom Absalom, confirmed Shikonda’s suspension. He explained that under the government subsidy agreement some of the teachers, including the principal of the school, are paid by the state. Therefore, Absalom said, Shikonda is an employee of the state and his file is covered by public service regulations, including the protection of information relating to staff members. “As such, I can confirm that Mr Shikonda was suspended last year. He was placed at the regional office with temporary duties to pave the way for an investigation that Elcin wanted to carry out at its institution,” he said. “The investigation was concluded and the church requested that Mr Shikonda be transferred from Oshigambo High School, citing disharmonious working relations between Elcin and Mr Shikonda,” Absalom said. He however did not reveal the findings of the report compiled by the church regarding the allegations levelled against Shikonda. Absalom confirmed that Shikonda has now been transferred from the school and placed at the regional office with a new duty sheet pending the conclusion of the case. As to the nature of the case, he said that it is confidential staff information that he would not discuss in public. However, he noted that Shikonda is still receiving his monthly salary and all other benefits entitled to him although he is at the regional office. As to the acting arrangement, Absalom said the ministry is still waiting to be informed by the school board of the person recommended to act as principal, as prescribed by the Education Act. Last year, Oshigambo High School emerged as one of the top five performing private schools among St Boniface, St Paul’s, Elcin Nkurenkuru and Swakopmund Private School. The school, which boasts of a number of leading personalities as part of its alumni, ranging from politicians to business leaders and other professionals, is one of Namibia’s oldest schools in the north. Some of the leading politicians who passed through the school include Nahas Angula, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Nangolo Mbumba, Erkki Nghimtina, Ben Ulenga and Jesaya Nyamu, among others.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-03 08:28:12 4 months ago