1,697 schools audited: Dokora
THE Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has audited 1,697 schools since the deployment of auditors to assess financial records and weed out corrupt school officials last year.
Responding to questions in Parliament on Wednesday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora said the ministry investigated schools where there were allegations of abuse of funds by heads.
“Issues to deal with financial management in schools are matters of concern to the Ministry. For this reason, we instituted an audit of our schools in order to bring transparency in the use of funds that are collected at school level.
“In 2015, the Ministry managed to audit 1,697 schools. In some cases, there were reports of abuse of school funds by heads of schools. As a matter of fact, where there were allegations of abuse of funds, thorough investigations were carried out,” said Minister Dokora.
Asked what measures were being taken by the Ministry to bring to book school heads who were implicated in the recent audits, Minister Dokora said the schools authorities were given a chance to respond before the Ministry takes further steps.
He did not specify what the steps entailed.
Glen Norah MP Webster Maondera gave an example of Ruvheneko Primary School in Glen Norah, Harare, where the school authorities were recently implicated in abuse of funds.
“With respect to Ruvheneko Primary School, an audit was carried out and the initial report indicated that there were some irregularities in the handling of funds. The concerned head, as procedural, is given an opportunity to respond,” said Minister Dokora.
Last month, Minister Dokora revealed that his Ministry had ordered a countrywide schools audit to assess the financial records of at least 80 percent of 8,179 schools in the country before the year ends.
He said the exercise was meant to weed out corruption and create transparency in the administration of school development funds.
He said the Government ordered audits of school funds as headmasters, bursars and School Development Associations were in the habit of dipping into school coffers.
Audit reports have shown that more than $1,2 billion in development levies is circulating in Government and mission schools and a chunk of it is being abused by heads and bursars.
The audit reports also revealed that some school authorities have been duplicating receipt books as cover to lay their hands on development funds.