What you need to know:
- I had thought that my faith in Kuya would be rewarded. But, as they say, Asante ya punda ni mateke.
- Initially, I would advise him, but when I realised that he had a very bad attitude, I decided to let him burn in his own oil.
As long as I am still the head of this amazing school, blessed with strategic thinking, academic and administrative acumen, trust me on one thing - I will frequently restructure Mwisho wa Lami Primary School to remain relevant in a changing world.
As you know, since Bensouda left, I have been on a journey to take this school to a new growth trajectory after years of neglect and stagnation. We had started showing early signs of progress with my reforms.
However, last year, these reforms were interrupted by some clueless operatives at TSC who, in their misguided wisdom, appointed Kuya as the deputy HM of this school.
At the time, I wanted to resist, but being a positive leader who believes in people until they disappoint you, I not only accepted him but gave him key responsibilities: school operations.
He was fortunate to have a HM who trusted him to be the school's chief Operations Officer, responsible for anything academic, operational, and administrative.
You can ask around, and you will be told that other deputies are not so lucky. Their HOIs have not assigned them anything; the deputies just hover around the school with nothing particular to do, as the HOIs run the whole show.
I had thought that my faith in Kuya would be rewarded. But, as they say, Asante ya punda ni mateke. Kuya refused to listen to anyone's advice.
Initially, I would advise him, but when I realised that he had a very bad attitude, I decided to let him burn in his own oil. I won't tell you all the wrong things he did. I'll mention just one - his refusal to allow Apostle's Elkana, the Revered Spiritual Superintendent of THOAG (The Holiest of All Ghosts) Tabernacle Assembly, an experienced Prayer Warrior, to pray for our children during last year's KCPE.
You all know what happened: we recorded the lowest-ever KCPE performance.
And you know what happened next: parents invaded our school, baying for Kuya’s life. You might think he is remorseful. Kuya is not; he is happily at home claiming that he will not come to this school until I assure him of his security.
Well, I am just a Head of Institution, not a security officer. No one has assured me of my security; why should I secure someone else's?
Kuya applied for a promotion from TSC, well aware that he does not qualify, and secondly, knowing very well that all TSC and Education Ministry officials are currently busy working on ensuring that all payments made to a school, including our lunch money, is done via eCitizen.
Until the education and TSC officials finalise channeling all coins and monies to schools via eCitizen, there will be no response to Kuya. Kuya also went to a police station and reported me for having organised a mob to harm him.
With Kuya away, I could not keep running the school alone. I had to initiate some changes in the school to make it continue moving in the right direction.
Last week, I took some time off to think about what was best for the school. I drafted different structures, put people in different positions, and made other changes.
The only person I consulted was my friend Dr Wesonga, a lecturer at Kabianga University. Known for his academic prowess, Wesonga told me to consider certain offices: Chief Operations Officer, Directors of Academics and Administration. I reminded him that these positions do not exist in the TSC hierarchy.
“TSC had no idea what positions are needed to successfully run a school,” he said, “Plus, that will be a local arrangement, as getting help from TSC will be like getting water from a stone.”
I informed Dr Wesonga that my initial thought was to appoint an acting HM since Kuya was away.
“That would be a big mistake,” he replied. “You already have a deputy; you cannot appoint another regardless of how mad Kuya is. Also, by appointing one person as acting deputy, you will lose the rest. With multiple positions, everyone will believe they are the deputy and support you. Though you will appoint several, make everyone feel that they are your second in command.”
He had a point. I could even add more positions and still make each person believe they were the designated successor. I settled on: Director of Operations, Director of Administration, and Director of Academics. After more consideration, I added Director of Supply Chain.
The next step was filling in the names. Director of Operations – Alex, Director of Administration – Sella, Director of Academics – Anita, and Director of Supply Chain – Lena. Next was how to announce this. I called for a staff meeting last Friday.
“As you are aware, our deputy HM has not been in school for quite some time now,” I started. “And it doesn't look like he will be coming back anytime soon, based on what I have heard.”
I went on: “No one is greater than this school,” although I was more important than the school.
“So, we won't wait for Kuya to come back.”
I saw excited looks from everyone. Clearly, everyone hoped they would be appointed as acting deputy.
I told everyone that we would not have deputies, and then proceeded to announce the positions. Sella and Alex asked about the difference between their positions: Administration and Operations.
“I do not think it is complicated,” I answered. “Alex will be responsible for the school’s operational issues while Sella will take care of administrative matters. Are we clear?”
They still seemed not clear, and I told them it would get clearer with time.
“What about me? What is supply chain?” asked Lena, her bad hair in tow.
I was shocked and told her she would be responsible for all procurement in the school.
I then asked all those appointed to use the weekend to come up with solid plans for their departments to turn the school around.
“What about us?” asked Mrs Atika.
“I will be announcing more positions in the coming days,” I said, looking at those not appointed to any positions.
Which other positions should I create? And who should I appoint to them?