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THE Headmistress of Pope John Senior High School and Minor Seminary, POJOSS, in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital, Benedicta Foli has been accused by the teachers and some of the Old Students Association of sabotaging the Free Senior High School programme.
According to them, the headmistress has turned the school into a gold mine, with the decision to generate Internally Generated Funds, on the claims that the Free SHS funds are not coming.
The teachers in the school who pleaded anonymity alleged that since the headmistress’ transfer from Kwabeng Anglican Senior High Technical School to POJOSS, the administration has moved from democratic processes to authoritarianism and divide and rule tactics.
The agitating teachers claimed her conduct and action is clearly going against the Ghana Education Service rules governing the school and also making the teaching difficult for the teachers as well as declining the student’s academic performance gradually.
Some of the teachers and Old Students Association members alleged that when she took over the school, she has stopped the teachers’ wives from selling sachet water in the school, rather taking upon herself as her private business on the claims she is using that money to pay for school light bills since the funds meant for the Free SHS is not coming.
They claimed that her conduct clearly shows she does not have the interest of the school at heart except her interest since her actions and decisions are geared towards amassing wealth ahead of her retirement next year.
The angry teachers noted that under Mrs. Foli, all attempts to get the detailed performance of the school’s WASCCE results for analysis and planning have proven futile, adding that she controls and keeps all relevant documents to herself and shares information at her pleasure.
They claimed the situation is so bad that Assistant headmasters, heads of departments, and housemasters who need such documents and information for action, are unable to do so as effective as should be.
The teachers claimed she has stopped releasing funds to the house masters to manage the various dormitories, making their works difficult.
One teacher named withheld noted that “all houses (dormitories) are subjected to a localized power rationing. Thus students are made to stay in darkness for longer periods in their various dormitories”.
He alleged that “the situation has increased theft and other vices among students as they always must look for their personal effects stay in darkness during the night, adding that house masters that have been opposed to this treatment are threatened with losing their positions”.
It has also been established that only suppliers contracted by her are to make supplies to the school since teachers and their wives are barred from selling water apart from those she has contracted to do so.
Further investigation conducted indicated that apart from her residence and that of her assistant headmasters who are connected to the Ghana Water Company, most teachers’ bungalows are not connected making it difficult for them to have access to water unless they go out to fetch.
Secondly, most of the school’s boreholes are not functioning properly, thereby leaving the school in a water crisis, due to that both teachers and students delay to class because of the time spent in scouting for water daily.
The agitating teachers also revealed that the abysmal performance of the school in the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) in recent years is due to her lackadaisical posture towards the preparation, adding that several calls for the need for trainers and other logistics to motivate well-performing schools have fallen on deaf ears.
Due to that, the old students, thus POJOBA took up the challenge to assist the school in providing all the support needed, yet, the posture of the headmistress has stalled the progress being made in that regard.
The situation they claim is gradually deteriorating the relationship the school has with its old students, POJOBA.
They further claimed although PTA had agreed to a voluntary motivation package for teachers to boost morale and improve academic performances, but the headmistress unilaterally canceled it and replaced it with a graduation fee at the cost of Ghc 60.
To many of the students and teachers, the fee is irrelevant and easily expendable without consequences. True to this assertion, they alleged that the graduation and the fee paid for it is managed by the headmistress without accountability.
On contrary to these allegations, all those who disagree with her, are either sidelined or treated with disdain as teachers and housemasters are all forced to fall in line waiting anxiously for her retirement which is expected to be next year, 2022.
However, recent action has infuriated some staff who say, “Enough is enough”. To this end, they are pleading with the Catholic Church, Old Students, and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to get her transferred from the school with immediate effect.
The teachers have therefore pleaded with the Catholic Church, alumni (POJOBA), PTA, GES, and other relevant stakeholders to intervene, and Mrs. Benedicta Foli out before POJOSS loses the little dignity left after all the humiliation suffered in the last few years.
They have also served notice that should nothing be done, they will advise themselves.
Meanwhile, the Headmistress, Benedicta Foli, when contacted via telephone conversation denied the allegations leveled against her.
She emphatically stated that her outfit has never taken any teacher’s motivation fee, either ruling an autocratic leadership style in the school.
She, however, declined to comments on the other allegations made against her, but quickly replying to the reporter she can not make any further comments again and ended the call.