Home » Headline » Kings College on war path as school principal, parents lock horns

Kings College on war path as school principal, parents lock horns

When you hear the name Kings College the first thing that comes to mind is excellence.

The school, known for its ability to mold intellectuals, used to be a landmark example for other educational institutions to follow. Sadly, the glory days of the school are all but gone, as it has joined a backlog of poorly managed post-colonial projects.

Once again, the great educational mecca is in the news, but this time, not for accolades or ovations, instead, the almighty Kings College is set for perhaps, the biggest showdown in its history.

A group of parents under the aegis of Concerned Parents of Kings College, Lagos have raised an alarm over alleged gross mismanagement and misconduct by the school authorities. The parents, who organized a press conference on Friday, the 3rd of July, 2015, explained that there is a serious case of racketeering currently plaguing the institution.

According to a statement released by the group, the Principal of Kings College, Lagos, is said to be at the middle of a storm consisting of massive fund mismanagement, deliberate negligence of school infrastructure and a over commercialization of the school premises.

The statement read in part, “Based on the decision to bastardize the relationship between the PTA and the school authorities, a petition was sent to the Ministry of Education in 2011, seeking urgent interventions in the following cases:

1. DISTRUPTION OF PTA MEETING/EXECUTIVE

The principal has taken over the PTA of King’s College as his own personal property thereby making all the parents fools. The principal Otunba Oladele Olapeju aborted the P.T.A. election which was schedule to hold on the 27th Nov. 2011 and appointed his own candidates Mr. Emmanuel Oriakhi to run the affairs of the P.T.A on an interim basis, not minding the fact that the P.T.A. constitution has no provision for interim administration.
The principal on his own without recourse to the general house changed some portions of the P.T.A. constitution and claimed that it was on the instruction of the Minister of Education.
In March 2012, election was conducted to elect new executives to take over from the illegal interim administration and the elected offices were as follows: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, P.R.O, Social secretary, Legal Adviser and Financial Secretary. After the election was conducted and concluded, the principal usurped the mandate given by the parents in the case of the Financial Secretary with the reason and excuse that there was a letter again from the Minister of Education stating that the post of Financial Secretary must be held by the school staff and to that effect, he appointed a the School Store keeper as PTA Financial Secretary. This he did to enable him take over the control of the finance of the P.T.A.
The imposed PTA Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Oriakhi with the connivance of the Principal single-handedly brought in some members of the interim committee into the executive as ex-officio and as at this report they are the ones that coordinates PTA key projects, for instance, School Bus Shuttle Services, Laundry etc. in order to continue to perpetuate their fraudulent and illegal acts.

A Kings College Toilet

2. CONSTRUCTION OF THE P.T.A HOSTEL SCAM

The School management through the principal wrote a letter to PTA, requesting for assistance to build a 5 storey Hostel block to accommodate the teaming population of the student (copy attached). This request was accepted by the parents in PTA general meeting. A building levy of N15,000 was agreed, just for the Principal and his partner the PTA Chairman to impose N40,000 on parents of the new intakes.
At the commencement of the Hostel project, the Chairman and the Principal with impunity connived to impose two unqualified main contractors to handle the project, shrouded in secrecy, without the knowledge of other members of the executives, without going through the due process of tendering and bidding which is expected for such Capital project, they did this to protect their fraudulent interest.
From the preliminary stage, they decided to compromise on a whole lot of things for instance, Soil test that should be carried out to determine the soil bearing capacity and foundation types suitable for the building structure was not properly done, argument ensued on who should handle the drawing and the fund to be raised between the Principal and PTA Chairman. The Principal wants to be in control of the finance, the standard practice was not allowed since he was not in direct control of the finance.Using his office and intimidation, the idea of securing the building plan approval and other necessary documents approval were dropped.The Principal claimed that the school is a Federal Government property and that he had handled other building projects in the school without Lagos State Physical Planning Agency approvals.
Personnel from Lagos State environmental agencies came to the site thereafter,just for the duo to start looking for who can assist them to evade the necessary dues and procedure that should have been done.
In furthering their plans to defraud PTA, they appointed some of their cronies to handle supplies.And at many occasions, materials supplied for the Hostel building, at the instruction of the Principal and with the knowledge of PTA Chairman, are carted away overnight to other location for other on-going project in the school.

Kings College Toilet

3. ADMISSION SCAM

The principal sometime before September admission in 2012, made an open promise to parents in PTA General meeting that he will assist parents whose children failed to secure admission into JSS1 and SS1 on merit to secure admission. The PTA Chairman acting as a front for the principal, informed parents to either bring 50 bags of cement or the cash equivalent of N100,000 as a support for the Hostel building project before the admission will be given.
About 50 parents paid the sum of N100,000 each and were issued fictitious receipts for cement as a cover up. What was very disheartening in this act, was the fact that children with higher scores whose parents could not afford to pay N100,000 were denied and the fund raised diverted, as the Principal insisted and collected the money from PTA personally before signing the admission letters.

4. UNHEALTHY BOARDING HOUSE FACILITY

Some of the SS1 – SS3 students at the main camp have been sleeping on the corridors of the hostels since the beginning of this session, because of the greed of the principal, who gave admission to more students over the existing capacity and facility available in the school. This act has over-stretched the existing structures and facilities thereby affecting the welfare of our children that paid for boarding accommodation.

IMG-20150703-WA002

5. COMMERCIALIZING THE SCHOOL PREMISES

The Annex Campus of Victoria Island had been turned into car parks for banks and their customers such as GT Bank at Adeyemo Alakija which has no car park due to the high rise and no space building that it has. The principal leased out the school premises to them for a high amount of money thereby endangering the lives of our children.Not minding the spate of insecurity in our society today.
Shops and business centers were constructed everywhere making the school atmosphere in-conducive for learning. But for the intervention of Lagos State Environmental Agencies that demolished some of the shops that were recently constructed, our children would have been learning in a market square other than school premises.
During the weekends, the school premise in the Annex Campus is rented out at a fee for one social function or the other and parties are thrown without caution and recourse to the fact that this is a learning environment for children in JSS1-JSS3 whose ages range between 10-13 years (Moral bankruptcy).

6. IMPOSED RAFFLE TICKET LEVY

The principal Otunba Oladele Olapeju with the connivance of the P.T.A. Chairman Mr. Emman Oriakhi suddenly increased the PTA levies from N7,500:00 to N20,500:00, imposing an additional N10,000:00 tagged Raffle ticket levy, and N3,000:00 as laundry fee, without discussing it at the general meeting for approval.

7. MISMANAGEMENT OF PTA FUNDS

There are evidences of mismanagement of PTA funds. Based on the Income and Expenditure Account for the year which ended February, 2014, the income generated 2012-2013 was N161,410,876 and expenditure was N150,595,012 with the balance of N10,815,855. In 2013-2014, it was N145,045,430 and N134,062,932 for income and expenditure respectively with N10,982,498 as balance.
It was recorded that salaries and wages gulped N26,106,000 and N33, 843,500 for 2012-2013 which totals N59,949,500. We believe it is appropriate to ask; where did all that money go?
In 2 years plumbing repairs took a total of N9.5m. This is highly suspicious for a school. PR and Honorarium Allowances gulped N5.3m, we’ll like to have a full detail of this. 987,000 was spent on Advert and Publicity in a year. Donation to Stakeholders consumed N3.3m. Who are these stakeholders? Impress took 2.7m and Fumigation cost N3.3m, in one year!

Rancor and crisis is brewing up now in the school at the moment because of the building levy that is incessantly imposed on parents,the unhealthy and not conducive learning environment that the school has subjected our children,our children return home at the end of every term with water related sicknesses, in spite of all the good-wills offered to the school by parents and corporate bodies. Parents are asking questions and are of the opinion that the previous money paid for the building project is not being judiciously utilized.

Stagnant water beside hostels

Sunday, the 28 of June 2015 perhaps sparked the full blown outrage that caused a revolt by these parents.

The said Sunday, was supposed to be the parents’ visiting day at the school, but unfortunately parents were locked out of the school premises by the school authority.

Despite the heavy rain falling, the two gates leading to the school premises were locked and parents were denied the right to see their children.

Armed policemen were seen guarding the main gate to the school compound and the annex.

According to a parent, the gates to the school were ordered locked and manned by armed policemen by the school principal. This was because some parents were asking for a better welfare for their children and wards and the school principal felt they were asking for too much.

Responding swiftly to the allegations of the parents, Principal Otunba Dele Olapeju, immediately called for a press briefing on the issue and accused the parents of “Bad Conduct”

“This development is strange because it was concocted, and executed by 15 families (husband and wife) who had threatened to invade the college and cause commotion that would lead to the exit of the Principal and the PTA. It is an unfortunate development as they attempted (and indeed) embarrassed the college.

“How has a visiting day become placard and press calling day? Why after, a weeklong mid-term and returning their wards to the college, this group is insisting that they must enter the college. There are 3,000 families and about 6,000 parents out of which only 30 members carried out the protest,” he said.

Also, the school PTA lent its voice on the issue through its Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Oriakhi.

“After due consultations with the PTA, the college management directed that the visiting day be cancelled. The PTA therefore promptly sent out SMS to all parents informing them of the cancelation and adduced the appropriate reasons for the cancellation.”

The group of parents, who have constituted themselves into a political party in the college, he affirmed, have been attempting to distract the college and PTA, seized on this and immediately mobilised their ‘supporters’ to oppose the decision of the college management.

Oriakhi added that the PTA had severally counselled them to channel their grievances through the appropriate quarters but because of their ulterior political motives, they had continued series of activities aimed at destabilising the college.

“They started sending SMS, calling on other parents to disregard the directive of the college management, using the social media. They even went as far as carrying placards which betrayed their intention that they did not really come to visit their children, but to cause confusion and destabilise the college.“

“This group of parents on previous visiting days, had attempted to turn the college to a unionised environment for distributing handouts and holding unauthorised meetings. What is even more disheartening about all these is that these groups are mostly parents of JS one students who are relatively new and do not understand the procedure and processes of the college and the PTA,” the PTA chairman stressed.

He, however, called on well meaning parents, stakeholders and the public to advice the group to desist from their nefarious activities saying, “King’s College is a brand that has taken over 100 years to build and if any genuine parent identifies any anomaly, it behoves on them to explore appropriate means of addressing such issues with the college, taking into cognisance that they are now stakeholders in the college. No responsible parent has gone into, including presenting false information to the media, to damage the image of the college that is training their sons.”

Oriakhi affirmed that the PTA has so far, carried out numerous projects which include the building of a five storey ultra modern hostel and dining halls, toilets, classroom, among others, as well as payment of teachers salaries.

With allegations flying here and there, who knows when this crisis will fade away.

Stagnant water beside hostels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: