Why we closed school with unsigned reports

Sunday August 04 2019

She called me endless times, but I ignored her calls. We will sort whatever matter she had next term! ILLUSTRATION | NYAGA NYAGAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP


If you know Mwisho wa Lami Primary School well, then you know about our Visiting Headmistress.

Her name is Mrs Skastina Majani, although everyone, including chicken and goats, call her Bensouda, because of her uncanny resemblance to former ICC prosecutor Bensouda Fatou.

We refer to Bensouda as a Visiting HM because she is rarely in school. She can be seen once in two weeks. Or not at all. And when she comes, she will be around for a maximum two hours and then leave.

She always has some business at the County TSC offices or TSC headquarters in Nairobi. Like now, the last time she was seen here was in early July, before the end term exams began.

As you know, Bensouda has been playing high-octane politics, and has ensured that there are two factions in the staffroom.

One faction is led by yours truly, who happens to be the de facto and de jure Deputy Headmaster of this school.



And therefore the presumptive heir to the office of the HM when it falls vacant, which any reasonable person would tell you should have happened a long time ago. And it will clearly happen before 2022.

As you know, being from this village, with great communication and mobilisation skills, and not forgetting that I am the most educated teacher this side of the Sahara, you can understand why Bensouda is always afraid of me, and that is why she has been fighting me left, right and centre.

In my corner are most of the female teachers — Madam Ruth, Mrs Atika and Lena, her bad hair in tow.

I am a ladies’ man since I always favour them when making the school timetable, always ensuring that they have mid-morning lessons. What’s more, I am tall, athletic and handsome.

The other faction consists of evil teachers with the sole purpose of stopping me from becoming the next HM. It is led by Kuya. You all know Kuya.


Kuya scraped through secondary school and was lucky to get admission to a TTC, where he literally survived. Then he was even luckier to get a job as a teacher.

His only assets are huge muscles that he uses to intimidate everyone who stands in his way. Other than that, Kuya has nothing else to offer.

He has attended several interviews to be Deputy HM, all of which he failed. In his corner is Saphire, another rarity in the school, and Alex. You people know all about Alex and me. The only thing we agree on is Fiolina!

Nzomo, with whom Kuya has a child, shifts between Kuya's faction and mine — depending on her feelings towards Kuya at any given time.

They differed a few weeks ago and she moved out of Kuya’s house and has been in my corner since then. But I can’t depend on her, since deep down, she cares about Kuya.

Without Bensouda around, there was a little confusion on when to begin exams, as there had been two exam timetables: a good one drawn by me and another terrible one drawn by Kuya to spite me.


In the end, we used mine and the exams were completed about two weeks ago.

By last Monday morning all teachers had finished marking and had entered marks in reports forms. All teachers except Saphire.

Like he always does, Saphire administered the exams to his Class Five and Six pupils, picked the answer sheets and disappeared.

He came to school that Monday afternoon, and entered the marks in the report forms. There were no answer sheets returned to students. He could as well have guessed the marks, but who am I to complain?

I had planned to close school on Thursday, although I knew Bensouda and Kuya, who are naturally mean people, would have wanted to close the school on Friday.

So, on Tuesday, I called for a staff meeting to finalise on our plans. Everything was ready. I started: “Thank you everyone for the hard work in completing exam marking in time.

My plan is that we close the school on Thursday if everything will be ready. Had Saphire not delayed us, we would have closed tomorrow."


“That is very good,” Nzomo said excitedly. “Can we make it tomorrow? I need to be in Nunguni by Friday.” I told her that Wednesday was not possible, but we would close on Thursday.

“Sawa, let’s close on Thursday, although we would have preferred Wednesday,” Mrs Atika said. “Dre, please tell us what we need to do to be ready first thing Thursday morning.”

“I need every class teacher to do some analyses of the performance. I want to see the mean, median and standard deviation for every class,” I said.

I needed everyone to know that I am a student at Kenyatta University who knows something about ‘Statistics!’

“Honestly, Dre, what is standard medium?” Madam Ruth asked. “Please ask us easy things.” Alex told her that he will show her what that was.

“That will be ready tomorrow first thing,” said Alex, who rarely agrees with me. “If we present that tomorrow morning, can we close the school tomorrow?” All teachers were excited by this question


“We can see if it will be ready,” I said. But report forms still need to be signed, and we have to wait for the HM to come.”

“Why don’t you sign them?” wondered Madam Lena. “That’s right,” added Nzomo. “Bensouda writes 'Pull up your socks' in every report form.”

“If Bensouda will not have arrived by tomorrow evening, I will sacrifice the night tomorrow and sign the report forms so that we can close on Thursday morning,” I declared.

That evening, I got a call from Bensouda. “I want you to know that I am still the HM of Mwisho wa Lami Primary School!” she said, without even letting me speak.

“If you love your job, do not sign anything you don’t have powers to sign!”

With that warning, I knew I would not sign the report forms. By Wednesday afternoon, the teachers were ready with everything and I kept telling them that I was in talks with Bensouda and she would come. I was not.

We all waited for her to come on Thursday, but she did not. When I called her to ask if she would come, she rudely answered me.

“The official closing day is Friday, August 2. The report forms will be signed on time. What is the hurry for?”


We were in school early Friday morning ready to close. Bensouda had not arrived by 10.30am. And she disconnected all my calls.

At 11am, I called for a staff meeting and decided to close the school. Kuya was busy on his phone — obviously reporting everything to Bensouda.

“Can we be a little patient and wait for the HM?” he asked. We ignored him; called a parade; gave our report forms without HM’s remarks, and closed the school. As per my instructions, everyone left the school quite quickly.

As I left, I saw a boda-boda coming to school, which I knew was carrying Bensouda. I hid in the bushes around so that she could not see me.

She arrived to find an empty school. She called me endless times, but I ignored her calls. We will sort whatever matter she had next term!