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Schools to undergo audit over FPE irregularities

NAIROBI
By AUGUSTINE ODUOR | June 9th 2012

By AUGUSTINE ODUOR

A major audit on free education cash is looming in all public schools as it emerged that some head teachers could be involved in a syndicate to siphon funds meant for textbooks.

It also emerged that some head teachers could be furnishing the ministry and the Treasury with wrong statistics of learners in their institutions to attract funding.

This revelation came to the fore on Wednesday when Finance Minister Njeru Githae and his Education counterpart Mutula Kilonzo announced a crackdown had been launched.

The two ministers confirmed fears the Government may be funding ‘ghost learners’ in public schools.

They said the audit would ascertain if the free education cash benefits the intended children or if there is a scheme to water down the gains of President Kibaki’s pet project.

“We are setting up modalities of reporting and continuous audit to ensure resources benefit the intended beneficiaries,” said Mr Kilonzo.

He said that every year at the start of the school term, some parents transfer their children to other schools yet the records are not updated.

The minister also said many more pupils are lost through natural attrition yet their monies continue to be sent to their schools.

8.7 million pupils

The Kenya Primary School Heads Association National Chairman Joseph Karuga did not rule out the possibility of some head teachers “not doing the right thing”.

He said teachers who engage in such malpractice should carry their own cross. “Every teacher knows that they should do the right thing. As an association, we would also want to know who these people are,” he said.

But in a move to ensure each school is sent cash in line with the number of pupils enrolled, Kilonzo said each school will be required to file quarterly returns of enrolment to enable the Government disburse funds through capitation.

“This cash is not meant for teachers. It is capitation, which means it is sent per child,” he said.

There are 8.7 million pupils in primary schools, up from 5.9 in 2003. There are some 1.9 million students in secondary schools, up from 1.28 in 2008.

The two ministers spoke during the release of Sh7 billion free education cash after Kenya National Union of Teachers yielded to pressure from their members and issued a strike notice.

 


 

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