Aminiya School principal Aishath Athiya Naseer has been fired on orders from the education ministry.
According to local media, the civil service commission told Athiya yesterday that the education ministry believed her continued presence will cause “further damages” to the school.
The education ministry confirmed the sacking, but declined to provide further information.
A senior teacher who wished to remain anonymous told Minivan News today that teachers and students were “shocked and deeply saddened” by Athiya’s dismissal, which most faculty members believe to be politically motivated.
Athiya was appointed principal in 2011 and is the wife of former opposition Maldivian Democratic Party MP Ahmed Abdulla.
Most teachers have signed a petition asking the ministry to explain why Athiya has been considered a threat to the school.
The senior teacher said Athiya is very professional, diplomatic, and had always followed the education ministry’s instructions.
The ministry’s actions have left teachers unsure of their job security, the teacher added: “Who knows who will get dismissed tomorrow saying they are a threat?”
Ali Sulaiman, treasurer of the school’s parent teacher association, suggested that Athiya’s sacking followed the PTA raising concerns with the ministry over students at the adjacent Centre for Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) using Aminiya’s science laboratories.
The parents were concerned about older boys from CHSE interacting with younger girls at Aminiya, Sulaiman said.
“We never denied CHSE students of use of our lab. They should also be given the chance to learn. However, our concern was how to manage all of the students as we also have a similar problems with capacity due to the falling of concrete structures in old buildings,” he explained.
The PTA requested a visit from education minister Dr Aishath Shiham to inspect the state of disrepair of the school’s building.
However, the minister did not say whether or not she would visit the school. The following day, the school received a letter from the ministry with instructions to fire Athiya, he continued.
“It is very difficult to understand the reason the ministry is giving. Our concern is to solve the problems in the school. It does not seem to us that sacking Athiya is the solution,”said Sulaiman.
Last month, at least five employees at state-owned companies were fired and several more were suspended after they attended opposition protests, which have now entered its tenth week. The opposition is campaigning for the release of former President Mohamed Nasheed and ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim from jail.