Why I’m holding three acting roles


I also relieved Mrs Atika of her responsibilities as acting deputy and refused to have anyone else appointed to replace Branton.

Photo credit: John Nyaga | Nation Media Group

If you have been following events at our school, then you will know the unreasonable pack of teachers that I have here. Every office, indeed every staffroom, has a mix of workers, complainers, lazybones and malingerers. Mwisho wa Lami Primary School is unlucky because except for me, the rest are malingerers.

Being layabouts is one thing but blaming it on others is another thing altogether. If you remember, just a few weeks ago, when I complained about the school being dirty, instead of taking responsibility, they heaped blame on the head boy, Branton, a boy who I stay with due to my good heart and as part of my corporate social responsibility.

At the time, the teachers accused the head boy of not supervising other students well. Lena, her bad hair in tow, even blamed Branton for the school’s not-so-good KCPE performance for last year. This is despite the fact that the boy did not sit for exams last year. Neither was he the head boy then.

Anyway, the teachers are at it again. They want Branton out. But I know that Branton is just a smokescreen. It is me they are after. I can’t believe anyone would want me out yet I have, within a very short time, stabilised this school both economically and academically, after Bensouda left the school in a dilapidated state. In shambles.

It all started the other week. If you remember, I had travelled to Kakamega to handle the small matter of Fiolina’s unfair, irregular and uncalled for sacking. When I came back last Tuesday, I was surprised to find Branton at home on a school day.

“Why are you not in school?” I asked him angrily. Branton was the head boy and by not going to school, he was not being the role model that he always is.

“I was chased and asked to go back accompanied by both my parents,” he said.

Handled with decorum

He refused to tell me the reason he had been sent home, only saying it was Kuya who had sent him home. He pleaded his innocence without saying what the matter was. I had not planned to go to school that afternoon but I decided to go.

Branton was the head boy and he needed to be treated differently. Whenever a senior student like Branton committed a mistake, a staff meeting needed to be held to discuss how to handle the case. Senior people in society must be handled with decorum and respect.

“Can I know what mistake the head boy made to warrant being sent home?” I asked as I stepped in the deputy’s office, where Mrs Atika was seated. “Did you approve of it?”

“Mr HM, I neither participated in suspending the boy nor did I sanction it. But once I heard what he had done, I agreed that suspending the boy was the right decision,” she said.

“What crime did he commit? Did he steal anything or did he kill anyone?” I asked. “He neither stole nor did he kill someone,” said Mrs Atika. “But he almost killed someone!”

I asked for more information. Mrs Atika tried calling Kuya to come and explain what had happened but Kuya was not in school. It was 3 pm.

“You mean the school closes this early?” I asked. “Does Kuya have permission from you to be away?”

I even showed her that Kuya had a lesson at that particular time.

“I will check on that, HM. But let us please handle the matter at hand.”

She called Sella to explain what had happened.

“We all were seated here when we heard a commotion in Class Eight. And even before we could say ‘melee’, one of the students came here wailing loudly and bleeding profusely,” Sella narrated.

She went on to say that there had been a fight amongst the students and one student was severely injured. After administering first aid, the injured student explained that a stone had been thrown at him, narrowly missing his left eye.

Forensic investigations

“Forensic investigations revealed that the stone had been thrown by Branton. That boy could have lost his sight or, worse still, died,” added Mrs Atika.

“We referred the case to Kuya, the class teacher and the master on duty at the time, who immediately suspended Branton for two weeks,” said Sella. “it is a decision we all agreed to.”

“What time did it happen? Was there no teacher in class when it happened?” I asked. It turned out to be that it was during a maths lesson, and Kuya was supposed to be in Class Eight when the incident happened. I asked Mrs Atika why Kuya had not been in class.

“So, we miss class anyhow but are quick to suspend students for playing?” I wondered.

I ordered Branton to be in school the next day and called for a staff meeting the same day at 9am.

Kuya opposed the unconditional return of Branton to school.

“What precedent are we setting? What example are we showing to other students if a heinous crime like this one goes unpunished?” He asked.

“Surely, we cannot be quick to punish students for our own mistakes,” I said, reminding Kuya that there would have been no fight if he had been in class.

“It was wrong for someone to injure another, but would this have happened if there had been a teacher in class?” I asked, even as teachers pushed back and said I was only looking at one side of the coin.

“I can’t believe that someone almost lost his sight and we are focusing on a lesson that was missed,” said Alex, revealing on whose side he was on the matter.

“Let us not be one-sided. Has any action been taken on that teacher who missed the class and caused this and continues missing classes? Was he suspended also?” I asked.

I managed to convince the teachers and we allowed Branton to be readmitted to school. The teachers, however, demanded that he be relieved of his head boy position.

I put the matter to a vote. Only one teacher voted for Branton to be retained, I suspect Madam Ruth.

I caved in, but not without a fight. I also relieved Mrs Atika of her responsibilities as acting deputy and refused to have anyone else appointed to replace Branton. I was ready to serve as both acting HM and acting deputy and at the same time step in to support all the perfects in the absence of a head boy.

 I will show the malingerers I have in the name of teachers how this job is done. Look out for a truly transformed Mwisho wa Lami Primary with me as acting HM, acting deputy HM and acting head boy!


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