It’s now routine and normal for scandals to happen at Nyali Primary School, situated along Links road in Mombasa County. Each week parents wake up to hear of a new scandal and how their Money that was intended to provide quality Education to their children ends up in people’s stomach. People who have turned the school into their personal property. The Bus Scandal, the ghost worker scandal and many other scandal have come and gone, things still seem not to change.
The board of management which is entrusted by parents to overlook the school resources has totally lost direction. Only a few in the executive run the school like their personal property while majority who persistently ask questions have now been tagged as “Moles” who feed the parents with right information. The head teacher Mr. Kombo has vowed that he shall remove all the “noise makers” in the board and has already started his usual mischiefs, PR and bringing up of systems that shall ensure corruption remains in the school. He even tried in the last board meeting to bring the agenda of removing the perceived “noise makers” but his trial miserably failed.
To ensure his continuance survival, Mr. Kombo has ensured that no AGM or election is conducted at this moment when the parents are still mad on how the school is been run. He has used the COVID-19 protocols to stop any meetings in the school. Funny enough, just recently the school conducted a mock election for students to elect their leaders, with IEBC presiding the election and a senior Mombasa Magistrate invited to conduct the swearing in of leaders. But for the election of board of management, no AGM / Election is allowed. The board is now illegally in office after their tenure ended early this year. Parents are still not understanding why the board is transacting business on its behalf when their mandate ended early this year.
To make matter worse, recently Mr. Kombo has been using one media group to sanitize his corruption activities by publishing positive things that teachers and students have doing in the school. The swearing ceremony (a non-significant) activity was aired in a news bulletin by the media group with many parents wondering why pay huge monies for unnecessary activities. In the news, Mr. Kombo is heard advising the kids on Values and Ethical behaviors. This to many parents is laughable. While many parents agree with his advice, but many say he should not only preach water but he should also drink the water and not wine.
Not long again, the same media group in its printed newspaper published a full page of a story of Cassava plantation under the CBC program and put a lot of exaggerations. Many parents believe this as just a sanitization process and a way of getting the kickbacks while paying these media groups.
To the truck suit scandal, just recently parents were shocked to receive a circular from the School introducing new sports uniform. Many parents saw this as an insult to their struggling with the pandemic. Many questioned its timing while others saw no need of it at all. But to the architects of the deal, this was a way of getting their commissions which runs into hundreds of thousands.
The whole deal started just before COVID-19 hit the country. It is now known that Mr. Kombo, his deputy and the sports teacher met with the suppliers and discussed on how they could introduce the new sports uniform, the cost of the uniform and the commissions that will be offered and shared. The supplier was to manufacture and supply 600 Pcs and allow the school to force parents to buy them, off course at an inflated rates. It is not known if the deputy and the sports teacher were also to get their cut of the deal. However, many parents believe that Mr. Kombo dint want to get crucified alone and thus introduced the two in the deal. The supplier was given a go ahead to manufacture the sports uniform. This despite the board and specifically the committee on sports not knowing anything.
No sooner had the supplier manufactured the uniforms than COVID-19 hit the country that that saw the schools closing. This caught the architects of the deal unprepared and supplier who had even taken a bank loan to manufacture the sports uniform puzzled. Mr. Kombo and his team couldn’t do anything. The supplier was told to wait till things normalize.
Immediately the schools reopened, the supplier was seen coming to school on daily basis to seek to deliver the cargo. However, Mr. Kombo fearing the watchful eyes of the parents started dodging the supplier and giving him excuses. This continued till the supplier threatened to go to court and spill the beans. Fearing the worst, Mr. Kombo immediately wrote a letter to parents begging them to buy the sports uniform on a voluntary mode. Mr. Kombo strategy is that once the first child buys the new sports uniforms, all others will push their parents to buy. To ensure that his fingerprints are not seen, Mr. Kombo wanted his deputy to sign the letter but the deputy declined. He later forced the head of sports to sign the letter promising him of a bigger cut than the one initially agreed. The sports teacher signed the letter. Afterwards, parents came to know that the even chairperson of the board refused to sign the letter citing non-approval by the board for the new sports uniforms.
Muslim parents have all refused the new sports uniform as it did not align to their beliefs. The uniform did not at all consider the Muslim girls whose attire requires to protect their bodies and the need to be different from those of the boys. The cost of the uniform is also too high ranging between Shs. 1800 – 2400. With the Hot weathers in Mombasa, the uniform will make the kids suffer during hot days. Questions being asked by many parents include; where is the board of management to provide guidance on the matter? Was the sports committee of the board aware of this change of the school uniform? Why were parents not consulted on the matter? Why was the letter signed by a sports teacher? All these questions have ended up in a deaf ear of the board of management. What parents got, was invoices of fees for next term. very sad.
Many parents have decided they will not buy the uniform. Many have refused to be exploited.
The school now is just in MESS. A new board of management is urgently required. Until that is done, expect more corruption scandal in the school.
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