Ura: Dzongkhag officials in Bumthang who carried out a reinvestigation on the Ura principal found most of the allegations to be true.

According to the reinvestigation findings, an illegal claim of Nu 9,000 was made through a hand receipt in the name of an outsider who never worked for the school toilet maintenance works. The works were carried out by the school’s support staff during office hour and by students on weekends.

The hand receipt was forged to fake a payment to an individual from Ura village for plastering work. The individual admitted to have neither worked nor signed the hand receipt in the school, according the spokesperson for reinvestigation team.

The reinvestigation was conducted following a directive from Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) after media reported serious discrepancies in the initial investigation in October 2014.

While the initial investigation report cleared the principal of allegations, the reinvestigation unearthed contradictory findings. The team found at least seven to eight of the allegations to be true of the total 12-13 allegations made against the principal.

The use of corporal punishment, forcing students to cut hair while entering exams, interrupting another student’s examination by calling to office in middle of the writing were authenticated.

The principal selling potato worth Nu 17,000 from cultivation inside the school to its mess was also found to be true. It was also found that 18 students had left the school in the academic year 2014. However, the principal was not the reason why students left.

On his ill treatment of teachers, only a few teachers felt being ill-treated at the hands of the principal, the spokesperson said.

Majority of the teachers also did not feel the principal was using the performance evaluation (PE) rating to get back to teachers for going against the school authority. The students also dismissed reports of the principal forcing them to write statement against the games coordinator, a teacher who complained to the ACC.

Meanwhile, the reinvestigation team is also stalling the PE re-rating of the teacher.

“Since, the school authority has enough reasons to prove why the teacher deserved poor rating, the re-rating was stalled,” the spokesperson said. Re-rating will be decided by the ministry.

Meanwhile, the school authority is also charging the teacher for tampering official documents.

“According to the school authority all the bills relevant to allegations went missing after the teacher took these bills to document evidence against the principal,” the spokesperson said. It is still uncertain whether the teacher or the school authority is behind the disappearance of the bills.

On the alleged misuse of Nu 16,461 from students’ stipend, a bill was produced of being used in buying items like curtain and table cloth. But no physical verification was conducted to ascertain whether these items were really bought.

Even for other alleged misuse of Nu 21,000, bills were produced of being re-appropriated to clear school dues. The financial discrepancies of mess bills left unsigned could not be verified  as it went missing.

An official from dzongkhag has left for Thimphu on January 1 to submit the reinvestigation report to ACC and the education ministry.

By Tempa Wangdi, Bumthang