Reinvestigation confirms Tendu school allegations

A reinvestigation has found that the principal of Tendu Central School (TCS) is at fault for allowing a party to be organised in the school’s multi-purpose hall on the nights of March 5-6.

The education ministry called for a reinvestigation following new information being provided which indicated that initial allegations were true. In a post by an anonymous Facebook user, Bhu Drukpa, it was alleged that a bar and smoking zone were in place during the party, and that alcohol was served.

Alcohol and smoking are not permitted on school campuses.

The reinvestigation came after an initial investigation cleared the school of all these allegations.

However, the reinvestigation has now found that the party did involve sale of alcohol and that there were counters for bars and snacks. “There was use of drinks and snacks on payment basis inside the party hall,” states the reinvestigation report.

The report has been submitted to the education minister Norbu Wangchuk. “The principal has been found at fault for allowing the party to happen in the school multi-purpose hall,” Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said.

The minister however added that neither the school nor teachers were involved in organising the party. The report also states that the school is “innocent” since it was the principal who allowed the party to be organised inside the multi-purpose hall. The Central School also had not formed the school management board, which is the highest decision-making body in the schools, the report states.

“Neither has the school management or teachers been involved to decide for the approval for the get together,” the report says.

The report also states that the principal has expressed remorse for allowing the party to be organised in the multi-purpose hall. “However, he claimed that it was done to maintain the working relationship within the locality since it is a crucial component of administration and management,” states the report.

The principal also clarified that he had no personal motives behind allowing the gewog and the army to organise the party.

An official from the education ministry, who did not wanted to be named, supported the principal. “The principal has done that to keep the working relationships with the army and thrizin and the community, he didn’t know some people would post the pictures and make an issue of it,” the official said.

It was found that the Tendu gup and dzongkhag tshogdu chairperson, Nima Drukpa, decided to arrange the party. The army spearheaded subsequent arrangements.

The education official also refuted allegations that it was a commercial party. “The party was a get together party for officials from gewog, army and school involved in the coordination of tshechu.”

Nima Drukpa, even during the reinvestigation, claimed the party was organised as a get together for key officials involved in making the annual Tendu Tshechu a success. The army then approached the school for the hall with assurance that it would organise the party.

“It was observed that none of the teachers and students were involved in preparation for the get together party,” the report states.

A few support staff of the school were assigned to carry out tasks such as issuance of furniture, audio-visual equipment and table cloths. The party involved singing, dancing, and karaoke. “There were corners for bar and snacks,” states the report.

As entry fee, the army charged Nu 100 per individual. The army managed to collect Nu 8,000 from the party proceeds such as from the sale of alcohol and snacks.

The tshechu committee rewarded the school with Nu 36,000 for rendering its services in chipdrel, catering and cleaning. The schools used the money to procure refreshments and electrical items.

Save of two teachers and four teacher trainees, no one from the school attended the party. Though students were led to their hostels after the tshechu to keep them away from the party, some students claimed they were disturbed by the party.

The report also found no major issues with the alleged fight involving four alumni save for a piece of broken glass from a beer bottle hitting the warden’s head. No one suffered any major injury, the report points out.

Meanwhile, the ministry is yet to decide on follow up actions. “The human resource committee will now decide on what actions needs to be taken against the principal,” Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said.

The teachers and students have also called the ministry to make necessary interventions to uplift the morale and image of the school, which has been, they claim, tarnished on social media.

Tempa Wangdi

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