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ScanAid school principal testifies at Industrial Tribunal

Jun 20, 2012, 2:50 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

The principal of ScanAid Senior School on Monday testified before the chairman of the Industrial Tribunal at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

ScanAid Senior Secondary School had been dragged to the Industrial Tribunal by their former employee, Adejimi Adenipekuin, claiming over one million dalasi for wrongful termination of his services, among others.

In her evidence, Mariama Baldeh told the tribunal she is a teacher and the principal of the defendant.

She said she had been the principal since 2004, adding that the plaintiff was the Agricultural Science and Health Science teacher at the school.

She told the tribunal the plaintiff taught for six months when one of her members of staff was on maternal leave.

According to the principal, she informed the board and recommended that the plaintiff should be given full-time job.

When told that the plaintiff said at the tribunal that he was terminated because he refused to participate in the extracurricular activity, the principal denied that statement, saying: “Extracurricular activity is embedded in any of the teacher’s activity in the school and they are evaluated on it.”

She denied that the plaintiff complained to her that he was an asthmatic patient, noting that it was not always the plaintiff would take permission from her whenever he was absent.

The principal indicated that she assigned the acting vice principal to monitor absence of persons and make summary report every month.

At that juncture, the defendant’s counsel applied to tender the time book which was recognised by the witness and admitted in evidence.

The school principal testified that the plaintiff was absent many times and his salary was deducted as a result.

A pay roll voucher for the school staff was also tendered in evidence.

The witness adduced that she wrote a warning letter to the plaintiff on his attitude and he started to change just for a time.

When shown exhibit 2, the school principal indentified the document, stating that it was a query she sent to the plaintiff.

She testified that on that day the gate was closed at 9am and unfortunately the plaintiff was outside the gate with many of the students.

Still testifying, she revealed that the gateman called her that she had visitors and she instructed him to open the gate for them.

“I later noticed a push and pull between the plaintiff and the gateman while some other students ran inside the school,” said the witness.

According to her, she approached the plaintiff and asked him why he did so because the same rule that applies to the students applies to them as well, but he was shouting at her in turn.

“I invited the plaintiff to a disciplinary hearing but he failed to come with a representative,” she added, saying the plaintiff met her with the acting vice principal and the head of the language department.

The principal indicated that minutes were taken and the said document was also tendered in evidence.

“I invited the plaintiff as to what was stated in exhibit 4, when I read it to him, he replied that he had no objection and since it was the board’s decision, he will then leave,” the principal told the tribunal.

She said the board finally dismissed the plaintiff’s services and he was given a month’s salary.

She indicated that the plaintiff was dismissed based on misconduct, after being given several queries prior to his dismissal.

Hearing continues.