Trouble Brews At Exotic French School In Ghana

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By Cecil Mensah

The local employees of Lychee Francaise, a French school under the auspices of the French Embassy, are fuming with rage over the discriminatory tactics employed by the headmaster over the past three years in the management of the school.

The local employees of the school, located in the plush East Legon area near Milklin Hotel, are angry about the behaviour and leadership style of the Headmaster, Bernard Bonneville, who was posted to Ghana from France by the Board of Governors of the school.

The teachers, as well as other workers in the school, have submitted a petition to the Board of Governors, the French Ambassador to Ghana, the French embassy and the Association of French Schools Abroad, demanding dignified treatment, especially for local workers.

The school is on the same level with the likes of Ghana International School (GIS) and Lincoln International Schools in Accra.

Mr. Bonnville, is accused of devising cruel means to deal with some employees particularly, Ghanaians working with the school, for the past three years that he has been in-charge of the school.

The Herald, has learnt the headmaster, has sacked some employees without recourse to the Board of Governors and local union members, for not showing initiatives in their work. But this paper learnt that lack of initiative, is not part of the job description of the employees. They were asked to go home without following the laid down procedures.

Mr. Bonnville, is also reported to have reduced the working engagements of some employees, who have worked with the school for the past 25 years, without any reason whatsoever.

The Herald information has it that, some teachers have even been replaced without being communicated to, and their positions handed over to favourites of Mr Bonneville in the school.

A petition intercepted by The Herald and copied the French Embassy, Board of Governors and the Association French Schools Abroad written by the union leader of the school, Credic, is complaining about unfair treatment meted out to their colleague teachers.

The petition written in French and translated into English by The Herald, read; Dear Colleagues, I have learnt from different colleagues that certain local personnel in this school are in difficulties.

I do know if what they say is the truth, but listen to what I know Sena, our colleague technician, will be sacked for lack of initiative.

Forster, will have two options to accept to work half or come to a gentlemanly agreement to leave after twenty five years of service to the school.

Eric Gunn, had somebody in his class Tuesday whereas he was coming from Lome to teach, went to his class and there was somebody who has replaced him.

The next point, three colleagues of the secondary were asked to produce lesson notes in each class they have taught in the third term.

Three months of work should be produced and we are asking which right and why they. And why not everybody this method employed by the administration on 24 June, came
to us as a surprise from a school that should respect the convention of the Association of French Schools Abroad.

They know and respect the good condition of the local workers. I suggest therefore that we help them in this situation with these suggestions:

(1) We shall boycott the tripartite committee at the French Embassy tomorrow and Credic, Eric and Estee are okay with the boycott.

(2) We are asking for a union meeting on Thursday 2, at 12: 30 to discuss these problems.

(3) We ask for an appointment with the Board Governor and the totality of the staff in the school so as to visit this problem.

(4) A petition signed by the totality of staff is to be submitted to the Board of Governors, the Ambassador and the Association of French Schools Abroad claiming dignified treatment especially for local workers.

The Herald’s attempt to get Mr Bonneville, to react to some of the allegations raised in the said petition, proved futile.

The telephone line, 0302507171, to the school was put on answering machine as of the time of filing this story.

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