This column will make you mad, guaranteed. And it will hurt too.

The story broke about one week ago. Apparently after repeated hushed and secret complaints, the supervisory organ behind EPB Hato, our vocational school, finally succumbed to pressure and decided to investigate school management.

Namely one person, who was at the helm of the school for TWENTY years.

They decided to look at January 2016 to October 2017, with a professional forensic team, and found Awg 369,738.01 missing.

In less than two years more than a quarter of a million unaccounted for.

Imagine what went missing in TWENTY years??

How? Fake receipts, ballooned expenses, one for you, two for me.  

They also found out in the course of the investigation that school management spent more time at the Alhambra Casino and at the Stellaris Casino than at HATO.

Then they realized SHE was not alone.

She was escorted on her fun-filled gaming adventures into the island’s sin emporiums by the headmaster of the La Salle Colegio.

Two educators, gripped by gambling fever, possessed.

I asked around:

HATO is blessed by 1,600 students and 160 teachers. It is a foundation. Lack of control is innate. It is subsidized by the government, and depends on GOA for its income.

HOWEVER.

The school runs a restaurant a few months out of the year, and that income is gray. You pay cash, and the cash disappears. True, some of it goes back to the kitchen to buy product but from what I understand “WE HAVE NO MONEY” was the standard answer every time a machine broke in the shop or a teacher wanted to do something extra for students.   

As an aside:

The teachers are the ones who contribute to their own Charity Fund, to support very needy students. AND all the ones I spoke to acknowledged there were rumors of malfeasance for many years, yet they did not want to be the whistle blowers for fear of retaliation.

UNIFORMS: The school either buys from a certain supplier who kicks back – and you cannot change that, you have to buy from that particular source, even if the competitor is better and cheaper – or sells uniforms itself, and if 1,600 students are made to buy Awg 100 of uniforms, each year, some money will stick to sticky fingers. Twenty year of uniform sales…..you do the math.

I remember a while ago, we organized Iron Chef at EPB, and Romar Trading bought the chefs’ uniforms for the students at ASD, because that same woman told me they had no money and they were going to send the kids to compete in washed out rags. Thanks Milton. Now we know why they were so broke.

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February 19, 2019
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