Haihambo principal transferredBy: SELMA SHIPANGA and OSWALD SHIVUTE
IN what is suspected to be a political move, the principal of the Haihambo Primary School in the Ohangwena Region, Rosalia Tonata Ndamonomhata, has been “temporarily transferred” to a post as resource teacher at the Eenhana Circuit Office by the Ministry of Education.
This is the same school whose doors Swapo, in collaboration with some parents, shut about a month ago after their demands to have Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Hidipo Hamutenya removed as patron fell on deaf ears.
Ndamonomhata plans to challenge the ministry’s decision in court, saying the ministry failed to give her the legally required month’s notice of the transfer.
In a letter signed and stamped by education permanent secretary Alfred Ilukena on September 26, Ndamonomhata was informed that her duties as a resource teacher will start “with effect from 1 October 2012”. Contacted for comment yesterday, Eenhana circuit inspector Anna Hango said her office was not informed about the transfer.
Tension grew at Omutwewomunhu village, where Haihambo PS
is situated, after Hamutenya, who was named as patron by the parents in 2006, donated items such as fencing wire, money and water tanks to the school earlier this year.
The parents argued that they had asked Hamutenya to be the school patron in 2006, when he was still a Swapo member, and that they had changed their mind when he established the RDP.
In a meeting with the parents on September 6 this year, Education Minister Abraham Iyambo decided to “temporarily” remove Ndamanomhata from the school and to replace her with an acting principal for the time being.
Iyambo said the acting principal would not be chosen from the teachers already at the school. He also said that the parents should choose another school patron.
At the same meeting, the minister said that the renaming and patronage of schools would first be scrutinised by the permanent secretary of education and approved by the minister.
He instructed that the school board be dissolved and a new one elected by the parents.
He asked permanent secretary Ilukena and the director of education in Ohangwena Region, Sanet Steenkamp, to execute these instructions.
The letter by Ilukena states that Ndamanomhata’s transfer is “in accordance with the provisions of Section31 (1) of the Public Service Act number 13 of 1995”.
According to the letter, Ndamanomata’s transfer and reassignment of duties “will be with the retention of your current post designation, salary position and other benefits, excluding the incentives meant for retention of qualified teachers in remote areas”.
“Please report to the Inspector of Education, Eenhana, who will provide you with a duty sheet at your new duty station, Eenhana, and it is trusted that you will be happy in your new working environment,” Ilukena wrote to Ndamanomhata.