MARACHA. The operation of Olivu primary school in Yivu sub-county, Maracha district may continue to be rocky if the disagreement between parents and the Parish Priest of Olivu Anglican Parish, Rev. Gift Elema is not resolved.
The controversy emerged over the bid by Rev. Elema, the chairperson of the school’s foundation board to forcefully front the incumbent school management committee (SMC) chairman, Mr Samuel Adriko for a third term in office.
The parents during a general parents-teachers’ association (PTA) meeting held on Friday rejected Adriko and two other members of the six-board members appointed by Rev. Elema over allegations of perpetrating instability in the school which led to consecutive change of head teachers in the school six times in six years.
Last year alone, three different head teachers were transferred and this year, another head teacher Mr Alex Juruga has been appointed to begin the first term.
The district education department had earlier ordered for the re-election of the SMC and PTA committee members as a condition to access funds following expiry of the term of office of the existing SMC chairperson (Adriko).
Mr Yovana Ruku, a parent from the school regretted Rev. Elema’s stance on the reappointment of Adriko which he said has delayed the submission of the list of the committee members to the district since second term last year.
“Everybody rejected Adriko in a meeting last year. Rev Elema, I want to openly tell you that the parents are concerned about your belief that Adriko is untouchable. Why are you intimidating us of our role provided in the policy book to approve members of this committee?” Ruku charged.
“The members rejected Adriko, Ms Yemi Oguaru and Kalebu Alimuke but only Mr Yofas Calega and Born Jadribo were approved. If parents had powers, they also wanted to replace you (Reverent) as the foundation board chairman,” the outgoing PTA vice chairman, Mr Bernard Amagu, who chaired last year’s controversial PTA general meeting said.
Similarly, Mr Valerio Alija, the vice chairperson for the head teachers’ association in the district ruled out that re-appointment Mr Adriko for third term.
“What do you gain by forcing yourself to be an SMC chairman? This appointment is contrary to the policy guideline which only allows the chairman to serve for two consecutive terms. If the chairman did not leave the meeting early, I would request him to voluntarily resign”, Aliaja advised.
But Elema insisted on retaining the rejected SMC chairman arguing that he is a good finance controller.
“It is true that some head teachers here are corrupt and they undermine the foundation board, you are behaving like people who crucified Jesus without understanding what is right. I will dissolve all the six foundation board members including me and constitute new one not under pressure. If school funds delay in the bank, there is no problem”, Rev Elema warned.
Last year, Ms Flavia Osoa, the Maracha district education officer (DEO) visited the school and threatened to report Rev. Elema to Maracha Archdeacon for retaining an SMC chairperson who doesn’t cooperate with head teachers.