In an open letter addressed to the Chairman of the private, co-educational facility Mr Mahmood Manji, the educators have raised a long list of allegations against the powerful and indispensable German administrator.
Mr Schmelz is accused of running an unethical mode of operation strongly based on favouritism, intimidation, victimization, micromanagement as well as racial bias meted on local staff members at the institution.
So bad is the situation that some have genuinely expressed fear that he values his pet dog more than his own teaching personnel.
According to the demotivated teachers, ever since Mr Schmelz took over Aga Khan Academy, the school’s standards have badly deteriorated from the time former Headteacher Simon Otieno was in charge.
This has been attributed to a number of reasons like the mass employment of unqualified teachers at the expense of students’ education.
Insiders say he prefers the ones with questionable papers because they are easier to intimidate and manipulate however he wishes.
Word on the ground is that some parents have also been airing out their frustrations against Mr Schmelz in low tones.
Their opinion is that he is disrespectful and not approachable.
They also blame him for killing the spirit of parental engagement by gagging the Child-Parent Centre (CPC) at the school.
This toxic environment has been blamed for the latest influx of employee resignations at the Aga Khan Academy.
The tutors have now threatened forward their case to the Ministry of Labour and Employment in hope of finding justice.
They have also sought intervention from the Immigration office by urging them to revoke Mr Schmelz’s work permit and deport him back to Germany.
“Hi Cyprian, below is a letter from Aga Khan Academy tutors to the institution’s Chairman, Mahmood Manji. Spread it and help it reach him.
Dear Chairman Mahmood Manji.
We the teachers at the academy are so tired and disillusioned by the poor leadership at the senior school.
The school is going down as the management watch quietly.
Our complaints have fallen on deaf ears and we wonder about the function of HR if they cannot protect the locals.
We are intimidated and harassed by Mr Schmelz who feels powerful and indispensable.
He has succeeded in pocketing the chairman just as he did to the previous CEO Tony Eisele.
He runs the school as a one-man show and does not care to develop the local teachers.
The school no longer practices IB Philosophy as it purports to.
The upcoming IB Evaluation is stage-managed and because we care about our jobs, we will act to save the face of the school.
The middle-level leaders are so powerless except for their puppets who are non-performers.
He is such an incompetent leader who does not care what is happening in the classroom.
He is more of a facilities manager than a pedagogical leader.
He is a control freak and does now allow people to freely think and make decisions.
Favouritism is at its peak; he shows openly the people he prefers working with and these are all mediocre teachers who cannot stand up to him and are loyal to him.
The staff are very demotivated and teachers resign every other time.
Mr Chairman – we are not resigning because of salaries but the toxic working environment at the school.
Are you only seeing the colour of the headteacher or do you care about the locals?
Do you not realize we are the ones who uphold the Aga Khan school?
We know you did not like Simon Otieno because he was African but surely save the school from this Racist German Hitler.
He is employing mediocre teachers whom he can intimidate and manipulate who do not even have a Bachelor of Education.
HR needs to investigate where they get their TSC certificate including himself.
The standards of the school have gone down.
We have done 2 surveys feedback that has not been acted on by the school management. Because he is the Chairman’s favourite.
Please tell him to:
· Stop using intimidation to achieve his goals
· Stop making decisions all by himself and believing that he is always right.
· Stop micromanaging and increasing salaries for his inner circles
· Stop being emotional when the staff give a contrary opinion.
IBO – The upcoming evaluation will not give you a true picture of the happenings on the ground.
You need to visit the school and talk to individuals.
We are sending this letter to you to act; there is no international-mindedness and appreciation for diversity.
We are suffering at the school.
He has messed up the IB programmes at the school.
He should never the authorized to run an IB school.
He does not focus on the core educational objectives or allow HODs and coordinators to perform their roles as per their JD.
He does not give us an opportunity to grow or develop.
He only cares about his dog that he brings to school every day.
He allows his pet teachers to miss school the way they want.
Students depend on external tuitions to be able to get their diploma grades.
Those who are not financially able are the ones suffering.
We are sending a copy of this to the Labour office for the government to protect its citizens from this colonizer now that HR has been unable to do anything in spite of our pleas.
We are appealing to the immigration office to revoke his work permit with immediate effect and deport him back.
There are capable school leaders in Kenya and please do not grant any other work permit to Aga Khan Head teachers’ expatriates who come to bully locals.
They do not come in to develop locals but to make us suffer in our own country.
He should stop running the school single-handedly, encouraging mediocrity, favouritism, and victimizing staff whom he considers are stronger than him.
He is always finding faults in people and blaming others.
He is very arrogant to parents, disrespectful and is not approachable.
He has killed the spirit of parental engagement by gagging the CPC at the school.
Parents are no longer interested in the CPC as he controls everything.
We are stressed and sick of all the happenings at the school.
We hope action is taken this time round to save the school,
Aga Khan Academy Staff, Nairobi.”
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