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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 21 September 2014

SCHOOL FACES AUDIT OF FUNDS AS OFFICIALS ORDER IT TO RUN WITHOUT HEAD



A school in Kakamega county is now facing audit calls after it became apparent that there was mismanagement of funds.

Kakamega County Teachers Service Commission director Janet Onyango has ordered an immediate audit of books of accounts belonging to Friends School Lwandeti Secondary in Kakamega North subcounty of Malava constituency.

She was addressing parents and students when she officially opened the school that had been closed for two months after students and parents went on rampage to demand the removal of the school principal Moses Wadongo  over alleged total mismanagement of the institution ranging from financial to poor academic results.

They claimed that Wadongo had failed to improve on the performance of the school for the past 10 years he has been at the helm of the institution where the mean score has stagnated at 2.00 and out of the 101 candidates who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education last year, the best scored a mean of C+.

He was further accused of failing to register 15 candidates in this year’s KCSE exams despite the parents having paid the needed exam fee totaling Sh94,000 with claims that the principal had pocketed.
The principal was further accused of collecting school fees from students without issuing an official receipts for the same and that the school was losing a lot due to the dubious vice.
He was yet again accused by parents and suppliers of foodstuffs who delivered goods to the school for failing to pay them for the deliveries made.

It was at this juncture that the education office and teachers representation led by area subcounty education officer, Anne Shiundu, staffing officer William Chepkwony, Kenya Secondary School Association chair Kenneth Indusia and Knut executive secretary Shadrack Tovoko ordered the closure of the school until the matter was resolved.

After listening to the grievances from both the parents and the students council, the TSC director found it necessary for an immediate audit to unearth the filth behind the school, noting that the embattled outgoing principal had only two months to retire and hence should be held responsible in accordance with the report findings.

But her efforts to plead with the parents to reinstate the principal proved futile as they maintained that his services were no longer needed and that if there was any audit query he needs to answer, he will do so outside the school.

“If we want to establish the truth behind your allegations lets recall Wadongo to come and prepare his handing over report at the school so that we can know what is where and the true picture of what transpired,” she said.

The school will remain without a principal until January next year when after Wadongo retires and a new principal is posted and currently,  it is the new deputy William Wamalwa who will be in charge, she added.

Onyango warned that there is a countrywide shortage of teachers warning parents against ejecting teachers from institutions and noted that it was the TSC that had the mandate to do so.
At the same time, the director instructed school managements to impress elections of student council as per the TSC regulation; a move she said could curb the rising unrest in institutions and impact positively on performance.

In the subcounty, that has 47 secondary schools, it is only centre of excellence Samitsi Girls under the leadership of Wilbroda Sasaka that has been sponsoring the elections of students council.

Failure by other schools to follow suit has been attributed to high cost of conducting the elections.
The principal said that the 100pc who passed in last year’s Form Four examinations was as a result of the elected students governing council that worked hand in hand with the schools administration in ensuring smooth running of activities within the institution.
The school which produced its first KCSE candidates last year performed exceedingly well recording a total pass for all the 44 candidates.

The school was ranked third in the district after Malava Boy’s and Silungai Boys and was the best girls school.
She said the school had set its mean score to 7.2 in this year’s KCSE exams and that it increased its candidature to 64 after its starling performance last year.