Residents of the village of Zahattya in Irshava district call the situation at the local school absurd. A little over a week ago instead of the previous headmaster, who had retired, a new – young and pretty – headmistress was introduced.
It would not be anything special, but the new headmistress was appointed by district authorities not only without consulting the teaching team, ignoring a written request to elect a new headmaster from among teachers of Kolodne secondary school, but also in violation of several provisions of the Education Act.
"How can one be appointed as a head of such an institution without having education degree and without a single day of teaching seniority? It is unimaginable – teachers complain. – Natalia Lendel has only a manager degree, worked all her life as entrepreneur, has nothing to do with education, and never worked at school." However, she has powerful relatives – they add in wisper.
"Natalia Lendel has been appointed by the new head of education department of Irshava DSA Konstantin Khripta" – says the Zahattya village head Ivan Bidzilya. "Even in the district education department few people agree with this decision. Many are simply shocked. On my repeated requests and insistence that under Article 20 of the Law "On education", the appointment of heads of educational institutions would have to be agreed with the local government, Mr. Konstantin replied only once in a telephone conversation: "It’s not your business. This is my school!".
In the school the atmosphere is very tense. All teaching staff gathered to express their dissatisfaction with the recent events at the school. Teachers talked about how the new head of the educational institution had been introduced. "On that day, August 28, the new head of Irshava DSA Vasyl Kovbasko was presented. Taking advantage of the "transitional moment", the head of education department of Irshava DSA Konstantin Khripta the same day came to present a new headmistress to the teaching staff of Kolodne school in Zarichya.
"We, the teachers, expressing our categorical protest, could have disrupted holiday of the 1st of September, but we did not want to spoil the mood of first-graders, for whom this day is special and should be remembered for a lifetime.We have acted decently. However, if our appeals and requests continue to be ignored, we will act more decisively. And if there is no truth in our district, nor in the region, then we will go to Kyiv. And I think the parents will support us" – says Oksana Sidor.
"The parents are really outraged. Some even want to withdraw their children from school. The situation within the teaching staff is now also very tense, sometimes hostile. For all the years that I have been working here, I can not remember that it were so restlessly. The school even has managed to make much noise in the entire district and even the region. Colleagues are calling, wondering: how is this possible? How could this have happened?" – says another teacher.
Meanwhile, Zahattya village head Ivan Bidzilya last week sent an appeal to the District Attorney and the Regional Directorate of Education to revoke the illegal appointment of the district education department. But so far there has been no response. Hoping for assistance in resolving of this issue the village head appealed to the Deputy of the Regional Council Pavlo Baloha.
Unfortunately, we could not hear the opinion on the situation from Natalia Lendel herself. The woman was very busy filling in the register and in high-tone said that she has no time to talk to journalists. Instead, her husband had both time and desire. He suddenly appeared in the school, almost forced us out of the office "to talk face-to-face", while consistently emphasizing that we should not approach Mrs. Natalia and better cover other equally important issues in the village.