By Wamey Panky
The absence of the Principal of Government Teachers Training College, GTTC, Nkambe, Fidelis Dohtekunah, at the 2014 graduation of the College on October 11, sowed confusion among students, staff, parents and hundreds of invited personalities.
It is alleged that after Dohtekunah took over from the former Principal, Emmanuel Nkwain Gobte, he was told that Nkwain had collected all the resources meant for the graduation. But on the handing over day, Nkwain had brought both the Senior Prefect Boys, Emmanuel Ngenge and the Senior Prefect Girls, Regine Ngenge Munchop, who stated that the money was collected by them and was still in their keeping.
When the Senior Prefects and other students’ delegates later met the Principal in the office on the graduation arrangements, he reportedly told them that he was new and knew nothing about the event.
According to the students’ delegate, they were still confident that the new Principal would be present, but were taken aback by his absence.
Beside the Principal, neither the Senior Divisional Officer, nor the Divisional Officer, the Divisional Delegates of Basic and Secondary Education, nor the Mayor of Nkambe were present. The students blamed it on the Principal who deals directly with these authorities.
On behalf of the school administration, the Senior Discipline Mistress, Isabela Mfolem, apologised for the absence of the Principal, but appreciated the presence of parents, guardians and invited personalities and the out-gone Principal, Nkwain.
Mfolem, however, averred that the occasion was not a graduation ceremony, but a come-together to bid farewell to the outgoing students. She named the occasion “Emmanuel Nkwain’s Peace Jubilee” in honour of Nkwain’s 30 years of stewardship in Donga-Mantung Division with much of that time spent in GTTC Nkambe.
“Nkwain was here when the school was created in 1984. He taught here for long and was later appointed Dean of Studies. Thereafter, he was appointed and posted to the Divisional Delegation of Basic Education Donga-Mantung as Pedagogic Adviser for General Affairs and few years after, he was appointed Principal GTTC Nkambe. He was recently transferred to GTTC Kumbo in Bui Division in the same capacity.”
Mfolem revealed that the occasion was initiated and run by the out-going students with sponsorship from parents/guardians and other personalities. She announced that the school was sending out 135 graduates out of the 141 in the different 9-month, 2-year and 3-year courses. She said, since 1984, the college has graduated a total of 2679 teachers. She boasted that the graduates were well drilled and they were very confident of their output in the field. She challenged the graduates to remain true ambassadors of the school through their performances and proper behaviour in society.
On behalf of the graduates, the Senior Prefects, Emmanuel Ngenge and Regine Munchop, thanked the out-gone Principal for his fatherly love and for ensuring that they achieve their goals. They also appreciated their parents/guardians for exceptional sacrifices. They prayed Government to equip the college with a Computer Laboratory to facilitate practice and enable student-teachers to be abreast with the changing world.
Deserving students were handed prizes.
The out-gone Principal, Nkwain, thanked the organisers of the occasion for the special honour given him. He said he was embarrassed that his colleague was not on his seat.
He advised the students to remember their alma-mater, be of good behaviour, while challenging them to increase their anxieties by reading in order to be current with the changing world.
Shortly after the event, the new Vice Principal of the school, Solomon Ihimbru Kudi, talking to The Post, commended the organisers. On the absence of his boss, he said the Principal had earlier on informed him that he would not be at the event because of pressing duties out of the Division.
Approached for comment, the Principal, Dohtekunah, said he was not against the organisation of the event but that the Minister had denied any form of graduation. He said when he learnt of it, he only advised that it should be annulled; and since they chose to continue, he did not find it obligatory to be part of it, given that, his hierarchy was against it.