Ntchisi Secondary School headteacher Garn Kaduka, who is accused of harassing girl students by entering their hostel unannounced, has been transferred by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Ironically, when the girls protested the headmaster’s unbecoming behaviour that recently sent some of them cowering in their hostel after being found naked or half-dressed, he scolded and sent them on a week-long suspension.
The girls were ordered to return to the school last Monday, November 27, accompanied by their parents and guardians, for a meeting to resolve the matter.
Some parents and guardians exposed the issue to Weekend Nation and some human rights organisations, expressing fury that the students had been double victims –of a ‘peeping’ headteacher and the suspension.
Disclosing Kaduka’s transfer on Friday, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka said the action had been taken in light of the serious allegations levelled against him.
Msaka asked for time for him to be updated by his relevant officials on the matter.
But on Friday the minister was ready and was purring: “This matter has been brought to our attention and because of the nature of the relationship with the students, the decision of the ministry is that it is important that he be relocated to a different school.
“And we are also looking for an all-boys school, so that in the event that this is some kind of propensity that is inheriting the mind, then we are protecting the students.”
Msaka has also indicated that the matter will be investigated at higher level and if it goes against the headteacher, then he will be slapped with appropriate disciplinary action.
“The matter of indiscipline is still under investigation. From the district education manager, a prima facie case of indiscipline, or bad conduct, has been established. On that basis, he (Kaduka) is moving from that school.
“The matter is not stopping there. We want to dig further, if there is any evidence of a certain degree of gravity which may require disciplinary action,” declared the Minister.
During Weekend Nation’s visit to the school on Monday, some of the parents that attended the hearing told us that at first, the headteacher was not apologetic for his behaviour and challenged that he is not limited as to where he goes around the school campus.
One parent, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the headteacher only apologised after some of the girls testified about his invasion of their privacy in the hostel.
The hearing was also attended by Ntchisi district education manager Geoffrey Nkhata and other members of civil society organizations around the district.
But executive director of Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) Benedicto Kondowe has said the incident is just a tip of an iceberg on challenges of inadequate infrastructure in the education sector in the country.
He faulted government for reportedly being too slow to respond to such issues and only act when things have already gone out of hand.
“The conduct of the headteacher leaves a lot to be desired. That said, I must also indicate that another threat for the girls would come in the context of the boys because the classroom is not an accommodation facility (with full security),” said Kondowe.