Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Personal Message from Dr. Marina Hitchen - 28th July 2011

I have been reading all your comments with interest and feel that perhaps some of you need more background to help you to understand things.

Bishop Gwynne started a school in 1902 and bought the land with his own money. He gave that land to the Church. The school had 250 students in 1927 when the Church decided they didn't want it. It wasn't making much money as fees were low and over half the students were Muslim and not interested in being converted. They then SOLD Bishop Gwynne's present back to him. Gwynne tried again and opened Unity in 1928 on his own.

Whenever the school needed money they appealed for donations. Money came from ALL the communities except the Anglican Church. There were Anglicans who gave money but they gave it as individuals. When Gwynne left he had no children so he left the school in Trust. He was very careful to make the Trustees members of the business community; not church members. He left a Church based Council just for day to day affairs. That Council was supposed to be chosen by you, the parents. Slowly the Council started appointing themselves.

By the 40th anniversary of the school some Council members had managed to also become Trustees. The 40th anniversary booklet goes part way into trying to say the school was actually older and that the school of 1902 was the same one as Unity. To give you an analogy: if you open a clothes shop today in a shop that was previously owned by Marks and Spencer you cannot say you are the same shop and that you were established in 1890. Another head Miss Kilvert was worried by the Council and tried to abolish it and just have the Trustees. Her proposal was rejected and she left.

When ths school needed money in the 1970's Pat Clague, the Principal, got it from the Sudanese Government (all of whom were Muslim). Yet again the Church gave nothing. Once the school got money (from another donation) and became self financing Pat had to go. She was trying to stop the Church takng money. She had no support and no blog of course. By 1995 none of the Trustees from the past were around. The gang of five took their chance and started forging documents. Once they were the Trustees they felt free to help themselves even though the Trust Deed says very clearly that no money can go out of the school. Time passed and all was forgotten. In 2002 they held a Centenary celebration. Not just because they thought it would be nice. They wanted to forget all about Gwynne's re-purchase of the school and go back to the time when the Chuch were rightful owners. That is also why it says 1902 on the gates. When Mr Steve started working on the history of the school no one knew any of this. I knew about there being Trustees because in the Constitution it says that these are the people who legally own the land. When I asked who they were I was told it was not important. When I got sacked I asked Steve if he knew anything about Trustees and a Trust document. He found all of it amongst millions of other old documents. I knew then that this school did not belong to the Church and that I had had no right to have been giving them money. I had to clear my own name from being an accessory to theft.

Some of you may feel that the amounts taken were not huge and better to live with this amount of corruption rather than rock the boat. This crossed our minds too. Then we discovered that the Church was looking to find a financial backer for their almost ruined school in Omdurman. Unity would have been the obvious choice for that as everyone thought both schools  had the same owners. The decision was therefore made for us. If they were going to escalate their theft we had to stop it. All those teachers knew that if they did this they would be losing their jobs. We also knew that it was going to be hard to destroy the Council without destroying the school. This was when we looked for parental support. It was too complex for many to understand or they did not want to be involved. Others agreed to take up the cause and we agreed to support them. We made it clear that we would not be coming back ourselves and would only do what we could from outside: such as  help with recruitment, hand over planning etc. None of us are seeking revenge or our jobs back. Hopefully you will manage to form new Trustees and a Council of your own choice. The success of the school will be in your own hands. How big a success that is will result in you thanking us for what we did or blaming us.

We are all happy to see the school succeed without the Church. The church Council are the ones who stopped your school being really great earlier on. They took your history, your trophies etc as well as your money. We are all wishing for the best for you. We have moved on with our lives but we want to see the school move forward to being the greatest school in Africa. It should have been that by 1970 but get going, make up for lost time and we are with you (from a distance) all the way.

Dr. Marina Hitchen - 28th July 2011

18 comments:

  1. It should be added that the abusive comments that are sent in from some parents and teachers who wish to see the status quo maintained for whatever reason help no one. They are deleted immediately in any case, and will never appear on this blog/archive. Some staff who tried to do the right thing sacrificed their jobs to try and save the school. They did not need to do so. They could have ignored what was going on and returned to Unity to carry on teaching there. Instead they made a choice to try to do something to save the school from the corruption that was killing it. It is very sad indeed to find that there are a minority of people - teachers as well as parents - who for some reason seem to think that abusive behaviour and abusive comments will in some way solve the problems at Unity.
    Unity is a wonderful school. It has a long and at times, proud history and has come through so much over the years to survive and continue, but it has never been the success that it should have been. It was the overwhelming desire of those staff that tried their best to get Unity back on track as an honest and proud institution, that it should finally have the chance to be all that it has the potential to be: the best school in Africa. Unity should be the beacon shining in the educational crown of Sudan. It is not. The sacrifices that have been made by those staff who tried to rectify an injustice in the hope that the school could re-discover itself and succeed should not be attacked and belittled by those who's sole agenda seems to be 'what is in it for me and to hell with the students'. The pervasiveness in and around the school of these sorts of people is something to be ashamed of. Teaching is about sacrifice in part. It often means putting on the back-burner one's own personal desires for the sake of the students. This is a quality that has been eroded at Unity. It needs to be returned right back to the heart of the school. This is why those who have yes, sacrificed their means of income, sacrificed their jobs at the school, are not deserving of the abuse and nastiness that has been coming through some of the comments - all now deleted.
    Every teacher that has left has now physically and emotionally moved on from Unity. They have all got other things to do, new jobs to go too, new things going on in their lives, but all still wish to see a successful Unity High School in Sudan. All wish to see the students being offered the very best education that is possible. They do not have to care one jot about the school anymore - none of them work there anymore, but they do. They all wish it well. They all want to see Unity succeed and be the best. There is a great sense of loss amongst these staff at having seen such fantastic results across many areas of school life over the last years being destroyed. It is heartbreaking. Not for the staff individually or personally, but for what this means for the students.
    If you are one of those who for some personal reason seem to think that keeping in place those who stole your school and continue to steal from it is a good idea, then please do not send your abusive, vitriolic hate mail to this blog. Only the first few words get read in any case and then they are deleted. No one else will ever get to read them, so you are wasting your time.
    The one over-riding concern of all should be to save the school and make it a success.

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  2. I would like to add I agree with everything said above. People may think I am just saying it as I am friends with both Dr Marina and Mr Steve but that is not the case. Both of them know as do my students at Unity that I will not just support someone because they are my friend. I will support someone if there is a cause worth fighting for and if there is injustice.
    I hate corruption, I hate theft and I hate injustice. It bothers me that some parents and students have taken a hostile attitude towards the blog and in particular Dr Marina. I have known Dr Marina now for several years - long before she arrived at Unity and I know that she did nothing at all to try and destroy the school. She went out of her way to make Unity the best, the absolute best. I worked at Unity twice - both times at her request to come to Khartoum. I know she did not do that as I was her friend, she did that as she knew I was a good teacher - just as every teacher ever employed at Unity by Dr Marina has been given a fair hearing by her and she does not judge people on there "status" in school. I also know that many many students would take the direct route and go straight to Dr Marina rather than anyone else as they knew that she would give them a fair hearing and listen to what they had to say and not just pass judgement - as lets face it a lot of teachers will do and ignore what the student has to say.
    I would also like to point out that I love Sudan and it upset me terribly when I left Unity - my two best years teaching have been at Unity (and that is despite the shock I had earlier this year of my Macbook being stolen directly out of my apartment in the school - which Mr Robbie did his best to avoid me bringing in the police to investigate) that is because I worked for a very professional and principled principal and taught students who had outstandingly positive attitudes towards education. I still am in contact with many of my students and have had several requests to return. However, I always refused to return on account of the fact I will not work under a corrupt regime. I am not naive I know every country and business has corruption but a school which educates children and young people should be above corruption. A school that has links to churches should be above corruption and theft. That is where there has been a great wrong that has to be made right. Young people spend the majority of their waking hours in school and a school should be an environment where truth and justice prevail, that simple. A school should not be a place where there is long term theft going on.
    I know some teachers in Unity and some parents are angry at all this being dragged into the open now. But think about it. If people in this world like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela - to name but a few had sat in silence how do you think the lives of millions of people who were oppressed would be today? I am not comparing the actions of those in Unity who took a stand for what was right to great men like these I am merely stating that where there is a great wrong people have a responsibility to attempt to right it - particularly where it affects young people.
    I wish Unity all the best. I wish I had been coming back this year but like I told my students all along I could not continue to work under such corruption.
    Yes, there may be some short term problems whilst changes are made and I can understand people being anxious but in the greater scheme of things a few delays along the way are better in the long run than your children being educated in a hive of corrupted hypocrites who hold the Bible in one hand and the keys to the safe in the other.
    Kathleen

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  3. If you want to post your coment saying that you do not agree with what we are doing and give your reasons that is fine. These we can post and give your point of view. In this way this blog can hear everyone's opinions. We don't want you to think we only post the comments of the people who agree with us.I think the problem is that some people are just abusive. I understand that with so much documentation against Robbie et al there is no defence other than attacking the accusers. If you think things would have been better left alone we understand that even though we do not agree. If you have any evidence to support the bogus Trustees please send us that. We have tried to contact all those who were involve in the theft to see if they have any excuses or extenuating circumstances but the all have declined to answer.We did our research and we know exactly what happened and why and we have all the evidence. We are 100% certain. We had to be.This is a school and we cannot go making wild accusations just for the fun of it because I got the sack. I don't tell lies and everyone of you students knows it.

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  4. It is strange that posts that are not in agreement with the ideas and opinions held within this blog are not published here. I know that I have sent a post regarding the general tone of the blog and the need to create a balanced tone, so that, at least, the information given and opinion could be taken seriously.

    I had raised comments about the attitude of the videos and postings that did not reflect the professionalism that we might expect of school teachers. I had raised points about the wisdom of encouraging children from the school to take a potshot at the school council.

    Don't get me wrong - if someone who claims to love Jesus becomes so taken over by a craving for money that he/she begins to steal and deprive and lie, this is a very, very serious matter. It has to be dealt with. It must be. If there is a largescale corruption too within the school, I understand that it can be impossible to gently expose wrongdoing and corruption without being labelled as the wrongdoer. This is why the tone of this blog must be much more careful.

    The question still remains as to whether the govt. are the best to deal with this case (as another post suggested). But is there another approach - is it possible to bring about change from within? It is hard to know.

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  5. Anonymous: Your first sentence makes no sense. This blog is littered with comments from those who do not agree with or have questions over what is going on. Some comments do end up in the spam folder - both for and against what is happening. The spam folder is not checked. If it ends up there, sadly it disappears. There seems to be no logical explanation for why some go in there and others don't as most are simply signed 'anonymous', but there it is.
    As to the tone of the blog. The blog started out as simply a celebration of what was going on in the school on a day to day basis. It was always proactively 'for' the school. In the current situation, it is still 'for' the school. It is not a newspaper, it is not the presentation of a case by a lawyer, it is still proactively for the school and has no intention of moving away from that wholehearted bias in favour of the school and the students. You say that if the tone were different, the information (and opinions) could be taken seriously. Why would the tone of the blog make any difference to whether you take seriously the information (the evidence)? Whatever one might say about it, a piece of evidence is still a piece of evidence.

    I think in terms of your understanding of professionalism on this blog, it is important to understand that the blog has done its best to record and archive anything of even some remote value that relates to the school. Some of that material - spanning a number of years and from a variety of people - is the personal reflections, personal accounts of situations and experiences that they went through at the school. They were not made for or intended to be a reflection of their professional standing as teachers. There is a video of a walk around Unity High School. That video was made originally to be viewed by one particular person completely outside of the context of the school. Professionalism in that video is an irrelevant concept. There are letters from one Principal to another - personal letters - again, professionalism is an irrelevance. They were not working in their capacity as teachers when these things were produced. Does that mean that the archive should not archive them? Should it contain only the dreary and dry 'professional' outpourings of the institution and have no real people in it with real lives and real views? The archive is a record of the school - not a professional institutional trip through dreariness. It is what it is - a reflection of the people and the thoughts and creations of those who have worked and studied at the school - their professional outpourings as well as from outside of their roles as educationalists.

    You ask a very good question: Could this have been dealt with inside the school instead? To bring about change from within. This was attempted. This was the very first thing that was tried. yes, if this were possible, it would have been done. It would have been the best option. Not only were there many people antagonistic and hostile towards doing anything about it, but many were becoming openly abusive about it also. This blog published nothing regarding the current situation for a considerable period of time, whilst efforts were being made - and relentlessly - to have the situation resolved behind the scenes, in spite of the abuse and hostility of a number of people, who, even though they knew of the criminality of the situation, refused to do anything about it. This blog held off the international media at one point so as to give a breathing space for those trying to do what was right to sort the mess out quietly and with as little fuss as possible. Going public with this information in the way that has now happened was the last option and would not have been taken had there been some willingness by others to help sort the mess out.

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  6. It should also be noted that no one has asked the students to take a pot-shot at the school council. What has been asked is that the students should feel free to leave their comments here - whatever they might be, in the same way that others have done.

    Really, there is too much talk about the agenda of this blog as if this blog were a significant issue. What is important is the criminal activities of those who have stolen the school and are continuing to loot it to this day. This blog did not walk in and arrest Robbie. This blog did not fire Dr Marina. This blog did not send Bishop Kondo in screaming at Robbie for his blunders. This blog did not forge powers of attorney and steal money owed to staff. This blog did not threaten violence on Mr Bertram when he asked for his salary. Isn't it time that right thinking people actually looked in the right direction which is at those who have filled Unity high School with corruption all of these years? In any other country, what has been done in an attempt to save Unity High School would have resulted in a shower of applause and gratitude, not hate mail, abuse and diversion-making 'lets look anywhere else we can so we don't have to look at the real problem' comments. Yes, this is Sudan we are talking about, so we can't apply what would happen in the rest of the world to one country and expect it to conform to the norm everywhere else, but even so, the blog and the teachers and the parents and others who are working hard to save the school do not deserve the abuse they recieve for trying to resolve the difficulties that Unity is now in. Those that have been involved in this, were looking down the long barrel of the cannon that those who had stolen Unity were preparing to fire. The arrangements that were being prepared, as Dr Marina allluded to, to syphon money off from Unity via the ECS schools in Omdurman was well known.

    Comments coming into this blog criticising the blog itself are becoming boring in their irrlevance and diversionary agenda. It would be good to see some comments - whether for or against, those who stole the school in 1995. This is the real issue.

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  7. Believe me I worked from within for five years. Please read the Council minutes going back to 2006 that show how I tried to get accountability. I stopped money going out to some extent. I did not know how, or if I even could legally stop the rest.
    It became apparant that by working from the inside I was slowly getting myself linked to the corruption.Hence such comments as "The Bishop got a car and I had my contract extended"
    When the Episcopal church came and said that they were looking for partners to help them with the school in Omdurman I offered all kinds of support. Staff training, loan of our teachers, loan of our workers.Everything except Unity's hard cash. They said they would maybe form a partnership with the Diplomatic school. The Diplomatic school were never going to give them money without some return and I knew the only place they could get money without return would be Unity. This would have been huge amounts.I also had some problem with what was happening in Omdurman. Clergy were not paying fees for their children whilst staff were not being paid. That school could not afford to support clegy's children and I suggested that they must pay fees. With most of the paying customers going to the South the school would have ended up with mostly non paying students .The moneywould have had to come from Unity. I saw the way it was heading and I was worried. I could not solve this problem from the inside.
    We tried parents who couldn't or wouldn't see what was happening.
    To all those who think we are causing trouble for some kind of revenge: take the time to think. I was the only one losing my job. I cannot get all those other staff members to support me with a personal campaign even if I wanted to. These are peope with integrity. Friends of mine or not thy would never damage the students on my say so.
    For goodness sake wake up and join those trying to save the school. There is every chance you will go back to having the same corrupt Council in there otherwise. We are trying to give you a chance to take back what is rightfully yours. We are not coming back so it's not for us. It's for you

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  8. Question: In 1995 when the big change happened, might it not have happened for very practical and pragmatic reasons?

    At a time when there was great political and religious political turmoil, is it not possible that many of those involved had no stability and security within the country. Perhaps over many years there had been a significant turnover of staff, council members and a growing lack of involvement from the trustees (increasingly absent from the country). Perhaps the notion of the trustees operating effectively during colonial Sudan was untenable in post-independence and was becoming a hindrance to the effective running of the school.

    In the last ten years there has been relative stability for UHS without massive threat from Govt. unlike in previous eras. Perhaps back then if the school were to survive and simply to function, it had to take more definite and radical steps.

    This is not to say that there might not be corruption at play within the school today; I am too far away and removed from the situation to see. When I begin to hear of teachers' or head teachers' spouses employed in all sorts of remarkably creative and dubious ways (as was evident during the Birch era and since) I feel that corruption must be alive and active.

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  9. The Trustees are needed to safeguard the integrity. To stop the kind of nepotism you refer to. The Council are still there for day to day matters. The political situation would not affect the need for two seperate bodies.The Trust was not a colonial thing and it came in when Britain were already planning to vacate Sudan
    I can accept that there may have been a need to review who the Trustees were but not to eradicate them.
    This school was Bishop Gwynnes personal property to do with it whatsoever he wished.No one has any right to go against his wishes neither legally nor morally.It is not possible to change the terms of a Trust and Gwynne left room for certain changes within a framework. Sorry but there is just no way round making excuses for them. I see you must have had only a cursory glance at the documentation as it appears you do not have a full grasp of the situation.
    I fully support what you say regarding work for spouses. When I accepted the post at Unity I refused to appoint my husband. The Bishop can confirm this as he was the one who appointed him. I have to say that my husband did a great job in supporting the maintenance team. He worked seven days a week and took few holidays.I think most staff would agree with that. He was not on a huge salary. He has never involved himself in school politics, He would have been happy to go back this year without me.He lost his job simply because he was my husband. So there is a down side to being the Principal's spouse. I cannot speak for previous Principals but spouses did usually get a job. Bill Straths wife had a very high position for example but she may have deserved it. I just don't know.

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  10. It should also be noted that in 1995 there were at least two legal Trustees: Rev. Reuben Makoi and the Archbishop of Sudan (it could also be argued that the Archbishop of Egypt was also a Trustee). The Archbishop of Sudan and Rev. Makoi both made it clear in letters that are on this Archive, who they wished to see as Trustees, but this list (both suggested the same people) was ignored and the Archbishop's standing as a Trustee was rubbished in School Council meetings. Yet these two had the legal authority to appoint whoever they wished as Trustees, regardless of the wishes or opinions of the School Council. Whether the proposed Trustees by the Archbishop and Makoi were entirely suitable (and this is certainly open to debate as all were Churchmen) it cannot be disputed that they had the authority and legal standing to appoint whomsoever they wished.

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  11. I think the misunderstanding comes from people not really understanding yet that the school never belonged to the Church. The anonymous writer above is looking at the school as though it were Church property and hence the church could do what they thought best. This is not the case.
    People would have understood more easily had Bishop Gwynne had children and left the school to them in Trust with a church council running day to day affairs. Everyone would have understood that the family owned the school and the church were just overseeing it. He had no family so he left the school in Trust with who he felt were trustworthy individuals. He left strict regulations as to how Trustees were to be appointed and what had to be done with the money.The 1995 Trustees were not appointed in accordance with thet Trust nor did they follow the instructions regarding the money. How does the misuse of money fit in with your colonial post colonial theories?
    Furthermore there was huge nepotism from the missionaries in appointing their friends and members of their own groups. Most of these were not the best teachers and the shool went into academic decline. Nepotism has not just been something confined to individuals own families. The CMS consider themselves family and the nepotism was there.
    It appears to me that the person who is writing was around in the 90's and knew some of what was happening. I think you believe what was done was for the right reasons. Can't you people put your name on these comments and perhaps then we could reach you and both perties could find out more about the other's point of view.

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  12. I had no idea, to be honest, that the school was 'owned' by anyone before reading this blog - yes, I know, very naive. I had never thought that the school was owned by the church, but that the school was responsible to representatives from within the Christian communities in Khartoum - again naivete from someone ignorant of finances and administration. Are equivalent schools run the same way in the rest of the world? All interesting to me.

    Perhaps, the decision to do away with the trustees was a pragmatic but misguided decision, aimed at establishing a more workable structure. Does it really mean that these five men that are mentioned deliberately set out to 'steal the school'? Perhaps the thrust of this blog is right but it feels like it doesn't add up correctly. As though there were conclusions to be drawn but we have jumped beyond that into some kind of conspiracy theory where the conclusions are outstripping the premises.

    As I've said before, there is no doubt that it is possible for corruption to exist within the school, so I'm not burying my head in the sand and pretending that all is ok. It has been patently clear that all is not ok.

    Please bear with me here... This is a sizeable blog with many pages plus comments and I can honestly say that I don't have a full grasp of your argument. I'm not yet following all your steps fully. I think I mostly understand your arguments about the trustees now. Could you please give me an account of what you think you have proven regarding the corruption within the school that has come as a result of this. Even a list would be helpful for me to get a hold of the argument.

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  13. Hi

    Good comment.

    You cannot get rid of the Trustees. They are who Gwynne left his school to. Gwynne did not intend the Trustees to be Church members. He chose who he thought would be best for the job and they were in turn to do the same as they retired. The Church Council was really more like a PTA. Although the CMS sold the school to Gwynne in 1927 they have been trying to eradicate that from their history. Church members got themselves on the board of Trustees. The future Trustees suggested by the Archbishop and Reuben would not probably have been Gwynnes choice but they were legal. If the Copts were not happy with the choice either then so be it. They could not do anything. Why did they make a false document to make themselves Trustees? To stop the Church having full control possibly. So let's assume their intentions were good. They have now made themselves Trustees illegally. They bullied the Council into believing they were legal. So things should have then continued as before but with illegal Trustees that everyone seemed willing to accept. But no the Trustees changed the Constitution and eradicated Trustees. Just to cover up their crime let's say. So then they should have followed the aims of the Trust through the Council. All of this would have been illegal but we are saying for the sake of arguement it was for the good of the school. But they did not follow the articles of the Trust which clearly states that ALL monies should remain within the school. That the finances should be kept honestly with full records and audits. They took large 'donations'.

    They made themselves into the Directors (Safwat and Robbie ). Safwat OK. Robbie hasn't got a single qualification to his name and is in no way the best choice for a school Director. They showed no interest in the school other than the finances. Never visited. Never attended functions. One of the five Trustees; Makram seemed not to be in line with them so they got rid of him without going through the proper channels. They introduced a 50% fee discount for ALL clergy. They gave some clergy's children free fees. Clergy's children are not subject to the same requirements as other students such as passing exams and entry tests. The Bishop got a car for himself. Most Council members take personal loans which are never repaid. Church members are forced upon the school as staff. Reverend Joseph, Esperanza, Sylvester's son as driver, Priscilla, Victor, the gardener. All of these church members get the top salary for their position. Eg gardners get 600SDG but the church gardners get 1000SDG plus. If one of our staff recruited by the church commits any misdemeanours they either keep their job or leave with huge handouts where as others are directly subject to the labour law.

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  14. Dr. Marina HitchenAugust 5, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    When the school stopped giving loans to staff the Bishop came in and borrowed it himself, passed it to his daughter and she pays it back. So she effectively had a loan that no other staff member could have. Principal's now have to be chosen with a new criteria. They must not be able to uncover this Trust Deed and if by chance they do they must be bought off, either by money or by their fear of going against the church. Taxes don't get paid. Staff Social Insurance is either not paid or underpaid. Council members forge signatures to claim back social insurance belonging to expat staff because those staff do not know about it. Backhanders are given to certain members of the Ministry to stop them investigating and to keep Robbie in a job. He is not qualified according to Ministry criteria. School bank accounts are used to exchange money at high rates allowing the Direcor to make about 7% on any transaction. He makes money on exchange rates from his staff. He makes money on the baggage allowance of staff from the staff. All these things are documented.

    Money is taken at every opportunity. Not always big money. A few hundred from the teachers present fund etc. All suppliers are friends or relatives of the Council and all these suppliers are paid at a higher rate than another supplier from the market would charge. This kind of thing all adds up. 100 strip lights bought each month, signed off by the Director who thought he hid this from me (which he did for a while). All the Trustees blackmailing each other and stacking up evidence against each other so that their requests for money can never be denied. Totally creative accounting without audit. If their original intentions were good then there subsequent actions have not been.

    I don't know who you are but it seems like you have a genuine interest. If you need to know more let Steve Gooch have your email address and we will write to you directly if you need to preserve your anonimity. If you are in a position to control these false Trustees or you are part of the wrong doing from the past but you didn't think you were doing a bad thing; then be careful. These people are ruthless.

    Archive note: Please use the email: unity1902@gmail.com

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  15. Had the 1995 'Trustees' that were put in place through the office of Principal David Treagust, actively pursued an agenda of getting the school on it's feet, organising it's finances correctly, building staff morale and generally pursuing an educational agenda for the benefit of the school and the students and staff, then when this forgery and theft first emerged, all those involved might still have been somewhat taken aback by their actions, but given the progress of the school, might have been in a position to help resolve the illegalities and not push for the dismissal of these people. As it is and was...these people used their newly acquired positions to loot the school thoroughly and to blatantly steal from their own teaching staff. This is not something that any right thinking person should be turning a bling eye too or condoning. The consequences of their continued theft is that it disenfranchises the staff, makes recruitment of new staff even more difficult and robs the students of the education that they deserve and are paying for. Staff, who's employment within the school was secure, have now left as a consequence of the corruption and theft that is deeply embeded within Unity.

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  16. I will refer this comment directly to Dr. Marina Hitchen post of 28th July 2011. I am writing this out of experience being in Unity High school for almost half of my childhood. I started off during M. J. Partington, and ended after the resignation of David Black. Working as a printer, and worker supervisor, I was able to read every document for P.T.A, and the school. I also act as student's behavior correction; and issue letter directly to their parents of such behavior.

    As you mentioned, more than half ( I would say 99%, not only > 1/2) of the students have being sudanese muslims and the foreign native christians; but the native christians were barely seen. How on this earth could we expect financial support from the churches or Sudan Council of Churches (SCC)?

    Christian Religion Education (CRE):

    We had kids in governmental School (GS); and were preparing to take sudan leaving School Certificate. In the GS, Islamic class is offered for the muslim's kids; and they obtain a high credit. where as are not; yet this was going at Unity High School,as a christian school, watch. So, I had to apply my power as a supervisor, to use the rooms for Christian Edducation; and I got the syllabous from minister of education through someone I do not want to disclose his name.

    If I were to recommend, as an episcopolian, I would opt to say a lot on Bishop 'Daniel Comboni' Not my Bishop Guwayene. Might not be his fault but the Orange Tree that he plant, the workers whom he left to clean it they did not do the right job.

    If we are complaining about the Trustee decissions, then we wrong. And I can not keep go on writing. I ma available at this address:
    maridibaka@aol.com

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  17. I would just like to say, that I was a teacher when Esperanza was first employed. She was employed because she has very good English, good organisational skills and when I was there was substantially a far better LA than many others, with potential (well actually she would have been) to be a far better teacher than some of the teachers that were employed at that time. If i was a parent i would have preferred Esperanza to teach my children than quite a few of the teachers employed at that time. So I feel it is unfair to her to say she was forced upon the school by the church. In my opinion she is an individual with high standards, and trustworthy too, who was well qualified to get her job. I am hoping you will remove their names.
    Lucy

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  18. Having spoken briefly to Dr. Marina on this issue, she felt that Esperanza certainly was as you say, very capable in the job for which she was originally employed, but this does not detract from the statement previously made which is, from the evidence available, true.

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