ONGWEDIVA - A school principal was relieved of her duties from the public service after the ministry of education discovered she forged a document in 2020.
Elizabeth Nghiwilepo, who was serving as a principal of Oupumako Combined School in the Oshana region until last week, was officially discharged following disciplinary proceedings that concluded she was guilty of forging a medical certificate after staying away from work for a month and two weeks.
Nghiwilepo allegedly pitched up for work with a medical certificate stating that she was booked off sick between 7 July and 28 August 2020. The medical certificate was later found to be fake.
The executive director of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp confirmed to New Era that Nghiwilepo’s actions were a direct violation of a provision of the public service code of conduct, integrity and ethics.
“She failed to behave in a manner that maintains or enhances the reputation of the public service. [She] failed to discharge duties with integrity when acted in a manner that portrayed dishonesty and untruthfulness.”
Steenkamp said Nghiwilepo was fired from public service on 19 January 2023.
Approached for a comment, Nghiwilepo pleaded ignorance over the matter, maintaining that she was not aware of her dismissal.
She then refused to give any further comment.
The former principal is said to have committed the offence while still working as a head of department at Limbadungila Combined School in Ohangwena region.
Curiously, she scooped a higher position in the Oshana region last year, while still going through a disciplinary process in Ohangwena.
Nghiwilepo’s appointment puts in focus the ministry of education’s ability for background checks, and questions as to how they managed to promote someone who had an ongoing disciplinary case against them.
Oshana education director Hileni Amukana refused to comment on the issue, maintaining that it was not for public consumption but rather confidential.
“I don’t discuss confidential matters with the public. This is very confidential,” she said.
Limbadungila Combined School previously earned notoriety after a teacher, Fransina Mwetufa was discovered teaching with fake qualifications. Mwetufa’s acts of fraud, forgery and uttering were brought to light after she allegedly attacked and stabbed her colleague.
While investigating the matter, the ministry discovered that she forged her university qualification that got her employed as a teacher in 2019 until her time of arrest in 2021.
She has since been in police custody. -firstname.lastname@example.org