MoE fires ‘PDP’ Principal and lets the ‘DPT’ one off the hook

Mindruling Community Primary School Principal alleges political bias in his removal while another principal facing more serious charges was let off the hook

Kinley Tenzin was terminated from his post as Principal of Mindruling Community Primary School (CPS) in Dumtoe, Samtse 20 months ago on grounds of alleged misuse of some funds.
He claimed that he was innocent and was not allowed to present his case well but still removed on political grounds due to the fact that he was suspected of having supported PDP in the 2008 elections. His NOC was also withheld making him unemployed for close to two years.
The Principal said that in a much more serious case the Principal Dorokha Middle Secondary School did not face any severe action due to his DPT linkages and the cooperation provided by the principal in the 2008 elections to Lyonpo Thakur Powdyel.
Kinley said that the Dorokha principal in question had been accused in writing by 11 of his teachers for sexual misconduct, making pornography, misusing resources, destroying property, misuse of school budget, misuse of school’s non-teaching staff, unauthorized payments made, harassment, vandalisation of school property, manhandling of student’s parents, hospitalizing students and misuse of school’s ICT facilities etc. The Bhutanese was given a copy of the complaint letter signed by 11 teachers.
It all began during the 2008 election campaigns when according to Kinley both Principals took different stands on allowing political parties to campaign in the school premises and as a result got enmeshed on either sides of the political divide.
During the elections DPT party works had named Kinley as a potential PDP party worker in the media.
“The minister believed I was a supporter of PDP and held a personal grudge against me”, he said. “They suspected me of being a party worker for PDP because my brother-in-law was a party worker under the opposition leader in Sombaykha,” he said.
He said, the DPT party co-coordinators like Sangay Khandu from Samtse and Lyonpo Thakur were behind the controversy. “They even told the media that I was directly or indirectly supporting PDP while in government service”, he added.
Kinley said that on the contrary the Dorokha principal is known to be a supporter of DPT and had assisted Lyonpo Thakur during the 2008 general elections. “When parties were campaigning in the constituency I didn’t allow any members of any of the parties to visit the classrooms in my school which is as per the law. The Dorokha MSS Principal had supported Lyonpo Thakur during the campaign by allowing him to visit the school and classrooms”, he alleged.
Kinley said Lyonpo Thakur after the elections visited Mindruling CPS on the sidelines of his constituency visit in October 2008. He alleged that the minister reminded him of the pre-elections controversy and warned him that he could be fixed by the RCSC.
Kinley was denied a transfer to another school several times in the years 2008 and 2009. “The DEO said I was under observation as per Lyonpo’s instructions,” he said.
Real trouble for Kinley started in 2010 when the Gup and Tshogpas of Dumtoe Gewog some of whom he said were affiliated to DPT alleged that Kinley misused the salaries of two contract teachers and a non-formal education (NFE) instructor, money collected to procure religious scriptures (Bums) for the school and was absent from office.
On October 11, 2010 Kinley was suspended for indefinite period of time on the charge of prima-facie case related to misuse of fund and also staff’s salary.
A confidential letter dated October 12, 2010, sent by the education secretary to the then Samtse Dzongda, directed the Dzongkhag to form an investigation team investigate the matter.
The principal was then ordered to retire in November 2010, bringing to an end a 16-year career.
Kinley said, the investigation team did not seek any clarification from him nor was he asked to submit any written statement. “For all the accusations I have my own justifications and evidence but wasn’t given a chance to justify,” he claimed.
The principal said the salaries of the two contract teachers had been deposited into his account by mistake of the Dzongkhag finance. “Much before the allegations were made the salaries was reimbursed to the DEO on August 16 and the matter concluded there,” he said.
“The fund, collected as donation from staff and businessmen, was for conducting religious ceremony in the school, as decided by a committee,” he said. “The amount to procure religious scriptures was entered in the Choeten Tshogpa register, but was kept aside as it was insufficient and the money was still in the school when the investigation was going on,” he claimed.
He said it took him two years to obtain the NOC and during that time he faced the “worst crisis” in his life as he had to support three children. “There were times when we had no money for meals,” he said. Kinley joined Pelkhil private School earlier this month as a temporary teacher as he got his NOC after approaching His Majesty for Kidu. The letter to grant a NOC was sent by the Gyalpoi Zimpon on March 29th 2012 but the Education Ministry released it only four months later on 13th July 2012 further prolonging Kinley’s suffering.
Kinley said, “Severe action was taken against me based on un-proven allegations instigated by DPT party co-coordinators while no serious action was taken against the Dorokha principal who faced major allegations from 11 teachers of his own school”.
A letter dated March 28, 2008 signed by 11 teachers of DMSS, another school in the same Dzongkhag made 39 allegations made against the Dorokha principal. The letter was addressed to the Samtse DEO.
One of the main allegations included the Dorokha principal’s illicit relationship with a female Non Formal Education learner at the school with whom he had also taped explicit scenes. The letter states, “He has captured his own pornographic scene with one of the NFE learners using his digital camera which is about 4 to 5 minutes in duration”.
The teachers also alleged that the principal forced school girls to dance and entertain guests during events outside the schools such as birthday celebration of a basic health worker’s (BHW) daughter.
The Dorokha principal according to the letter was also known for severe corporal punishment. While some students had to be hospitalized, one was expelled from the school without the consent of neither the school’s disciplinary committee nor higher authorities.
The letter also alleged that the principal spent half the time in office browsing porn sites and also gambling (dice games) with the public around the market area even during working days.
Teachers alleged that the principal held personal grudges against students and teachers which led to students dropping out and a few senior teachers even leaving the school.
Among others, allegations included lack of transparency and accountability, misuse of school budget, misuse of school’s non-teaching staff, unauthorized payments, harassment, vandalization of school property in public, manhandling of student’s parents in public, misuse of school’s ICT facilities etc.
The same teachers sent another letter to the education Secretary on April 18, 2008 expressing dissatisfaction over the Dzongkhags resolution on the case.
In the letter the teachers said that when the Dzongda visited DMSS on a familiarization tour, Karma Phuntsho Assistant DEO accompanying the Dzongda produced an apology letter from the principal. “When that is the resolution to our plea, we are not happy and satisfied”, the letter stated.
Kinley said, “The Dorokha principal, despite serious proven accusations was just demoted to a teacher’s post by the MoE and got transferred by just giving an apology letter but in my case even without proving the case against me I have been deprived of my job and NOC”.
“The ex-principal is currently a teacher at one of the government schools in Norbuling, Sarpang,” he said.
He said the Dorokha principal was not even suspended while the investigation was underway. “He and I worked under the same constituency, same ministry and same secretary but there is no equity and justice”, Kinley said.
“Instead of punishing the principal, senior officials from the ministry warned the teachers of Dorokha MSS who lodged the complaint, not to practice ‘groupism’ in the school and they were transferred to different schools”, Kinley Tenzin said.
Kinley said there are many other such cases where the ministry had never taken any action due to conflict of interest and political motives.
Kinley’s plea to the RCSC to release his NOC was in vain and his request to the Prime Minister’s grievance cell to work as a contract teacher was also turned down.
In January 2011, the Samtse DEO forwarded a letter to the MOE on behalf of Kinley requesting the ministry to re-assess the previous decision from compulsory retirement to voluntary retirement so that he can make a living for his family. The letter also entailed Kinley’s commitments to having served in different remote schools for six years despite being a diabetic patient and also reflected that Kinley also volunteered for security duties in Samtse Dzongkhag during the 1990’s.
“I could at least have participated in local government elections if it was a voluntary resignation,” Kinley said. “However, that was also turned down,” he added.
MoE’s chief human resource officer Sonam Wangyel said he was not aware of the official complaint against the Dorokha principal since he joined in 2009.
He said, “I remember Kinley sharing with other people that on a similar kind of a case he has been penalized but the other person has not been penalized. But this has been never brought to us officially”.
The chief said since the RCSC endorsed the findings of the ministry’s investigation, RCSC would be the best to comment on the case. However, The Bhutanese couldn’t get hold of RCSC officials.
Lyonpo Thakur Powdyel was out of the country when The Bhutanese tried to contact him. The paper however has asked for an appointment when Lyonpo is back.
The Education Secretary Sangay Zam declined to comment on the issue.
Kinley said, “I don’t intend to file any case against Lyonpo but I would like to request members of all new political parties not to launch such personal attacks to ruin someone’s career because of political reasons,” he said.

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34 comments

  1. Where r we really going wrong? If this is the actual case, m sure justice can never prevail. It’s totally unethical. Shame on Sherig Lyonpo and MoE officials if u have acted purely on political reasons.

  2. I know our current political leaders r still not able to recover from the fever of previous ruling system and although they know that democracy has been introduced, they still hold on to the earlier authoritarianism. We cannot do much unless the whole batch of these old and conservative power clingers leave the system. They seem to have forgotten that they have been elected by the general public. Sad for Bhutan!

  3. The Bhutanese don’t have anything to write other than issues related to DPT…. I think your first and foremost objective is to drag only DPT related issues other than the issues of national and peoples’ interest.

    What about rampant land grab in Punakha? Write about the rampant land grab taking place in Punakha, if you really have the guts. 

    • Well…I agree that DPT is mentioned strongly, however the person who went through the suffering is just an ordinary person like you and me..I believe atleat he shouldn’t have been unjustly treated if all what is beign reported here is true.

  4. this is the hallmark of thebhutanese……….. always picturing one side of the story………. the MoE printing case clearly highlights the case………. at the end…… its no news at all…….. jus a piece of crap to waste peoples time……….

  5. I feel sorry to hear all this story from Kinley, this is totally unprofessional for MOE.
    But good to hear that you at least got a job to support your family. If I were you I would have punched and than accept the fault. Any way Waite every dog has its own day Thakur should fall back in the same line again.

  6. why is the poor and middle income people a victim always. when Chang Ugyen and Jigmi Y Thinley is  such a deadly land grabber and yet the  law forgives them and they come in the public as if nothing happened. this poor principal was not even allowed to share his justification  and fired him at the first instance.
    What a brutal govt we have. The laws are meant for  poor people only.  What mr Khaw, Singapore Parliamentarian said  last year was right, people of Bhutan are not happy  those happy ones are ministers and corrupted people eg Jigmi Y Thinley. n chang Ugyen etc…
    please think over and reconsider  this principal he is innocent.  instead terminate Thakur Singh Powdyel and the party involved while firing the principle. they are Cannibals who have no feelings for mankind. MISANTHROPIST !!!!!!! get out of the Country. 

  7. Thakur gabbar is coming

  8. Please do not jump the gun. We have read only Kinley’s version. The paper should have got RCSC’s as well as former Dorokha Principal’s version before writing this article which would bring balanced reporting instead of distorting Govt.’s images.

  9. Give me a break TL. You could have asked the principal to write this as a letter to the editor, to your newspaper.

  10. lousy politicians…… 

  11. The Bhutanese can really make a love story… That is really nice. I would also like to see why Kinley has so much of individual grudes on that poor Dorokha Principal.. This story looks one sided.

    Other interesting issues The Bhutanese might like to dig is the last Earth quake and and support given. There are houses unlivable but support given is still not forth coming–

  12. the teacher should have approached the court for legal actions against those involved.

  13. How can he approach court, when the government is so corrupted. It has the power to turn down the law in their favour.

  14. I think the reporter needs to learn how to summarize.

  15. you know thebhutanese paper bring related topic on DPT coz DPT is really corrupted party and it is our fault to vote them. other news paper could not bring this topic but you now how much they feels on other paper and other paper are really useless news paper in the country. if thebhutanese paper is not their people may not have known all the corruption done by DPT.
    MR Kinley he attacked you personally in the paper but why you cannot take a pistol and shot on Thakur sing on his rotating chair. if i am in ur shoe surely i can do that, i promise. fortunately Thakur was safe coz i kinley was not me

  16. The shocking story is all but one sided and therefore hard to believe fully,
    however the justice is also all but one sided therefore hard to understand… 

    I have so much respect for the Bhutanese for daring to tell truth openly but I would urge the paper be more responsible- get stories from both sides, which hasn’t happened in many cases.

  17. Got myself a headache reading this.

    • While I do not endorse fully on this one sided story to be cent percent correct, I will not rule out the posibility of the ruling party being vindictive in nature resulting to various senior offcicials who had been in support with the other party having sacrificed their jobs right from the time DPT came to power. This political devide creation was not at all desired of ruling party high command if the objective mandate was to creat a sound foundation for a very vibrant democracy. There are somany such issues where the DPT Govt. did not even dare to enquire into their grievances if the affected have been in the opposite camps while they did all possible which were impossible things in favour of those who simply had been pro-DPT. That was the ugliest of the ugly image that DPT has earned during their regime not realising that those who may have voted the other party would have been in strict compliance to the qualitities of the candidates of their respective constuency rather than the image of the party president. With such a party partisan ideology being adopted by our very so called pioneer ruling Govt. formed by DPT, I have vowed to myself that I am not voting in the general elections for the rest of life no matter what the constitutional rights have in store for me.

  18. All those rascals need to be brought to law and b punished according to create history n curb such corruption of personal vendetta in near future.

  19. A job well tried by the reporter… although it would have been much better if the whole issue was not just focused on how poorly Mr. Kinley was treated and how the MOE is the evil villain overlooking the big flaws of its sycophants… it would have made much more sense if we could have heard more opinions from the other side too… and frankly this article is as good as nothing without the reaction from the Sherig Lyonpo… please guys this issue NEEDS a closure… do it!

  20. that a sad story! we need hear a another story giving the minister’s stance on it..

  21. Disheartening !!!!!!!!!!! I just remember a proverb, “Laws are like spider web, where big can pass and small gets stuck.” And I didn’t expect such things from  Education Minister. After all he is also no different than other dirty politicians. 

  22. I think the article speaks a lot more than just meets the eye!
    RCSC need to monitor such unholy activities of the civil servants and more so of our teachers.

  23. It is just manifestation of true colours.

  24. Mr. Kinley, you have served the tsa-wa-sum, and in return u get this, what a demotivating for the civil servants. if you are clean and served with integrity  from your side, you will be rewarded sooner or later, its matter of time.

    What a shame on minister taking up on a simple civil servant, fight with a bigger animal.. instead of protecting chang ugyen…

  25. I would never associate myself with DPT by voting it again. Never for heavens sake will I support it. I never thought that they would go this far.
    Having said this I would like to say sorry to entire PDP supporter, citizen who suffered, media, and above all to my country.

    May god save my country!
    My country is dearer to me than my life!

  26. to be frank i have lots of respect for lyanpo thakur bt by reading dis story my respect for him is totally lost…many innocent people like that poor principal were victim of the dirty game of politics

  27. This is my advice to Mr. Kinley. If you are innocent and all this happened due to political affilications as you naratted. 1. Did you ever received any warnings in writing on any issues during your 16 years of service or did you ever wrote any statement to the concerned head due to failure in your service. If this thing have happened then Thakur and concerned agency is true otherwise if they have terminated you on the spot you still have time to get justice from the court of Law. No one is perfect in this world. Every body makes mistakes and there is floor for excuse. The Best Example you can see is our MOIC Minister’s Circular,If our highly qualified trusted Minister can makes such mistakes why not people like you and me cant.

  28. I dont find any substance in this news. This news paper doesn’t do any proper evidence based research and just putting the news as they wish.In fact, this news paper doesn’t have code of conduct, ethics and moral responsibility to write unbiased news. If this allegation proves wrong, i strongly feel the concern reporter should be charged for defamation in-order to make him/her mindful of his/her writing.Check and balance should be there.

  29. MOE’s top management including the Hon’ble Minister and Madam Secretary are in their respective cocoons and will not come out. This case has brought out some interesting realities…

  30. Ligpa, why don’t u find out the truth yourself if u r so up set with the article?

    Remember, where there is smoke, there is bound to be fire!

  31. Keep up the good work!
    In journalism, if the concerned officials are not available, when you tried contacting them, then it is that official’s fault. A journalist should not and cannot wait if their paper goes out tomorrow or whenever.  The papers have the duty to inform the nation.  The people can’t wait for the official’s right moment to respond…that would be a bureaucracy !!! 
    These officials who are barking now don’t know the principles of Journalism. 
    Your paper has still been fair – given the viewpoint of the CHRO, if he could not explain adequately, it is their fault, not of The Bhutanese. Also I see that your article clearly states that, Secretary, MOE declined to comment on the issue. So that’s it you “The Bhutanese” had been fair. It is not one sided at all. 

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