Teachers want Maseno School principal reinstated

Thursday March 16 2017

Maseno School Principal Paul Otula at the institution on March 3, 2014. PHOTO |JACOB OWITI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Maseno School Principal Paul Otula at the institution on March 3, 2014. PHOTO |JACOB OWITI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Teachers from Kisumu have given their employer until Monday to reinstate Maseno School Principal Paul Otula or else they will stage a demonstration to push their demand further.

The teachers, through the Kisumu branch of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), termed the decision to interdict Mr Otula a witch-hunt aimed at principals of well-performing schools.

They were addressing the media a day after Maseno School students had gone on a rampage demanding the reinstatement of their principal, who had been interdicted following a claim by a Form One student that he had been sodomised by other students.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) gave Mr Otula a 30-day suspension. Homa Bay High School Principal Andrew Buop was posted in his place.

Parents have accused the Ministry of Education of wrongly punishing the principal based on “untrue” claims of sodomy and bullying that rocked the school in January.

On Thursday, the Knut branch’s secretary Edward Olando said a pattern is developing where school principals from the best-performing schools are being targeted.

“It started by Alliance now it is Maseno, next we do not know who the target will be. They are pre-judging Mr Otula who was acquitted by the ministry and a probe done by private investigators,” he said.

He asked the TSC to stop "harassing" heads of schools and allow them to run their schools.

Mr Olando took issue with the immediate change of guard in the school, questioning the transfer of Mr Buop to the institutions.

“(Education Cabinet Secretary Fred) Matiang’i is only keen on rewarding his cronies yet there are able deputies. This should be opposed in all terms possible,” he said.

The chairman of the Knut branch, Joshua Ogallo, described the TSC as a body that has turned out to be amorphous and acting on instructions from the Cabinet Secretary.

“We want TSC scrapped and let the ministry handle all education issues,” Mr Ogallo said.