School head on the spot for ‘selling free sanitary pads’

A head teacher in Kisumu is facing charges of selling free sanitary towels. /FILE
A head teacher in Kisumu is facing charges of selling free sanitary towels. /FILE

Kisumu residents want Usoma Primary School head investigated for allegedly selling sanitary towels provided by the office of the woman representative.

They say Appoline Paul has been demanding Sh50 apiece. In a November 29, 2018 letter to county TSC director Adow Mohamed, the complainants said Paul’s actions are disheartening and accused her of abuse of office.

They are demanding her immediate transfer. “We will withdraw our children and support to the school if appropriate action is not taken by relevant authorities,” the letter reads.

“We fail to understand why the poor pupils must be subjected to another form of suffering.”

Paul yesterday dismissed the claims as untrue. But Adow said his office will investigate and take appropriate action. The school is near the Kisumu International Airport.

The residents also cited illegal registration of KCPE candidates from other schools. They accused the school head of enrolling pupils from other schools for a fee in the last two years.

Last year, she is said to have registered 35 ‘outsider children’, who only came to sit the final exam — an act criminalised by the Education ministry and the Kenya National Examinations Council Act. The practice disadvantages insiders during Form 1 selection, they say.

Paul is also on the spot over illegal charges for “monthly tests and parental support”. Parents and sponsors say the school board of management or the County Education Board has not approved the fees.

They say no receipts are issued for the payments and the money cannot be accounted for. The county government clashed with the school over the issue and withdrew its ECDE teacher, the letter says. The county said it will only deploy another teacher if the management stops interfering with the ECDE section

The letter says the school has not known transparency since Paul was posted three years ago. She does not involve parents on decision-making and does not share information on the capitation funds provided by the ministry for free primary education.

The parents want to know the amount of money sent each term and how it is used. The school stands to suffer if the problems are not fixed, they say and further accuse the headteacher of poor working relations with her colleagues.

The parents also questioned the whereabouts of money sent by the Kenya Airports Authority as part of its social responsibility. They say the cash should have been used to motivate teachers and learners. “Nobody knows how the money was spent. The same airport gave money for the fencing of the school. Nothing has been done,” the letter reads.