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School owner takes own life after letter of complaint

2020-04-29  Victoria Kaapanda

School owner takes own life after letter of complaint
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ONGWEDIVA – A 57-year-old man and owner of a northern-based private school committed suicide by hanging himself on Monday morning, barely two days after parents authored a strongly-worded letter in which they complained about the state of the school as well as the continuous payment for services not rendered during the Covid-19 lockdown period. 

The principal of African Star International School (ASIS) and Nigerian-born Isiaka Ishola Lasisi Ajani took his own life behind his house in Ondangwa. 
According to Oshana police spokesperson Frieda Shikole, the incident occurred in the morning at around 06h00. No suicide note was found. 

On 25 April, a four-page letter attributed to at least 57 parents, took issue with Ajani over the school’s online classes preparedness, the payment of the bus fee during the lockdown period, issues related to payment of day care and food service as well as the lack of communication on the part of the school. 

The parents suggested that bus fee payments be shelved for now as no service was being rendered to learners during the period of lockdown. 
“We tried to engage the management as individuals but we are not satisfied with answers we have been getting from the management. The payment of the bus fee during school holidays must be considered and stopped with immediate effect,” the parents stated. 
The parents also complained that the school failed to provide e-learning material like other private schools where parents, teachers and learners are engaged to teach their children. The parents also complained about the state of the school, which they said was filthy. 

“The health hazard at ASIS – our children have been complaining about the dirtiness of the toilets they are using at the school premises. Why are the toilets so dirty that even a pre-grade learner will refuse to use it? We don’t want our children to be exposed to unhygienic [conditions],” the parents wrote. The parents had threatened action against Ajani if he did not respond to their letter of demand by 27 April, ironically the same day he took his own life.

2020-04-29  Victoria Kaapanda

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