By SIMON ABANA & CHARLEY PIRINGI
KING George Sixth School principal Samuel Fangata and his deputy Johnny Tasa were suspended from their official duties as of Wednesday.
This came after teachers and auxiliary workers of the state-owned school lodged a petition to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development last week, calling for the pair’s removal.
“…yes the principal and his deputy were suspended to allow the ministry to investigate the allegations raised against them,” Permanent Secretary Dr Franco Rodie confirmed the Solomon Star yesterday.
He added an independent team comprising of staff of the Ministry of Finance and the Auditor General’s Office has been set up to investigate the allegations.
“The decision to suspend the pair does not mean they are already guilty of the allegations raised against them.
“Rather, it is to allow the investigation to be carried out thoroughly into the allegations,” Dr Rodie explained.
He said officials from the ministry will visit the school today to explain the decision to staff and students.
The petition lodged last week to the ministry calls for the removal of the pair over allegations of misappropriation of school funds.
A staff of the school Edwin Mark confirmed to the Solomon Star yesterday the two received their suspension letters on Tuesday.
“The principal and his deputy received their suspension letters from the ministry which is effective as of today (Wednesday) and active for 30 days,” he said.
Mr Fangata and Mr Tasa did not answer their mobile phones yesterday when contacted for comments.
Meanwhile, students are planning to boycott final exams for remaining classes today.
This was after student leaders had a meeting on Tuesday and agreed to show support towards their principal and his deputy.
School head boy, Arthur Okai in an interview yesterday said the students will stand with the suspended pair.
“We are not happy with the situation which led to the suspension of the principal and his deputy,” Mr Okai said.
“To show our support to the two leaders, we are planning not to sit final papers for forms 1, 2 and 4 tomorrow (today),” he added.
“We want them to remain in office since we have only two weeks before end of the academic year.
“We don’t see any problem with their leadership and call on the teachers to work together for the good of the school,” Mr Okai stated.
Deputy Head boy Erick Paulson stated that the school revolt has affected their studies.
“The whole issue is affecting our study and the running of the school administration itself.
“We know the names of teachers who are behind the move to remove the principal and they need to sort it out as soon as possible,” he stated.
One of the staff early this week told the Solomon Star not all the teaching staff signed the petition to remove the two bosses.
The staff, who declined to have his name published, explained the petition was spear-headed by few of the teaching staff who were terminated from the school due to non-performance over the years.
“The school administration terminated these few teaching staff because they fail to perform by failing to attend classes and perform their duties.
“So it’s believed they decided to raise a number of allegations and signed the petition to have the two school heads removed.”
The staff said not all the teaching staff signed the petition.
“The petition was signed by few of the teaching staff and the majority of the auxiliary workers. So it does not represent the entire teaching staff.”
He said the entire teaching staff were shocked by the news last week and have denied being part of the move to remove the duo.
“The incident had affected the morale of the staff and students.
“So we are unsure if students will be able to sit for their exams because of the current situation.”
The staff said most of the teaching staff have signed a petition submitted to the Education Ministry to show their support towards the two bosses and to have them reinstated.
Meanwhile, Robert Manekaea has been appointed acting principal.