Ghaazee School teachers protesting against corruption in their school; the school staff made a silent protest against their senior management and the ministry. Photo/Reader

Ministry probe teachers over anti-corruption protest at school

Terrible school budget constraints; there was no money to buy medals for winners at the latest Sports Fiesta event.

14 December 2022

By Aman Haleem

Education ministry on Wednesday launched an investigation into the protest by Ghaazee School teachers alleging corruption by the school’s senior management.

Ghaazee School staff, which employs around 200 teachers alone, held a 30-minute silent protest between 11.30 am and 12 pm on Wednesday after levelling serious allegations against the school authorities and the education ministry itself. 

Some of the teachers who participated in the protest spoke to Atoll Times and listed some of the corruption they had witnessed:

  • Allegations of corruption among some staff members of the school; against a person who was earlier an administrator of the school

  • Alleged that the former Ghaazee School Administrator had taken away televisions donated to the school by well-wishers 

  • A case of forging of medical certificates had also come to light; the administrator and the assistant are accused

  • Claims that instead of taking action, the Administrator was 'promoted' and given a job with the ministry

Meanwhile, the ministry issued a statement on Wednesday stating that it is looking into the protest. In the statement, the ministry said it had identified issues related to the management of the school's properties and had conducted an audit to further investigate them. Thus:

  • An administrative inquiry was conducted to probe the allegations that certain violations of finance regulations were found in the expenditure of school assets

  • The ministry did not specify the date of conducting the audit

  • Based on the findings of the inquiry report, action has been initiated against the negligent employees

According to the statement, cases of forging documents pertaining to two employees through the school were reported to the ministry after the report was prepared. The ministry said it is also looking into the matter of the televisions taken home by the school staff.

"We have submitted a request to the Maldives Police Services for further investigation as both the cases involve criminal offences," the statement said.

The ministry also denied allegations made by the teachers today that the administrator was given a promotion instead of taking action and that she was given a job by the ministry. When contacted, the ministry said:

  • She was transferred to the ministry department on 6 December

  • She was transferred to the job under the regulation which stipulates that with the faith of the minister or a ministry top official that an administrative change could lead to an improvement in the functioning of a government office

  • According to the ministry, her job was changed as it was felt that her presence in the school during the accountability process could cause more problems within the school. 

"The administrator, who was temporarily transferred to the department of this ministry, was not done as a given promotion, nor in the manner of transferring the person's employment to the ministry," the ministry said.

"It is pertinent to mention here that we have initiated an investigation into the protest by a group of school staff alleging that the administrator was promoted by the ministry while it was sharing updates and transparent on the administrator’s case with the school head," the ministry said in its statement.

Apart from allegations of corruption, the teachers of Ghaazee School have also expressed their displeasure over the budget constraints and having to arrange education at the teachers' expense. 

  • The fans inside some classes have fallen off and got blinking lights

  • Terrible school budget constraints; there was no money to buy medals for winners at the latest Sports Fiesta event

  • Worksheets are printed on paper that teachers buy at their own expenseEven the test papers had to be printed at another school in Hulhumale.

The education ministry’s statement does not respond to any specific concerns.