The Education Ministry has instructed auditors to ensure schools spend monies meticulously. PS Basic Education, Dr Belio Kipsang asked them safeguard the public monies in Public Schools by tracking and ascertaining that the funds received in the schools as fees are properly utilized.
“School fees paid by parents are part of public resources. As schools auditors, you must examine whether the fees paid by parents was spent according to the regulations,” directed Dr Kipsang.
The PS ordered the Auditors to physically visit schools to ascertain that indeed financial records presented to them are in tandem with reality on the ground. Currently, the heads and principals carry financial records to audit offices hence making it difficult for the auditors to know if the earmarked projects have been executed as per the presented records. “This is what you should do instead of letting school heads carry the books to your respective county offices,” added Dr Kipsang.
The PS was addressing School Auditors at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) during an official opening of a three day workshop .The Schools Auditors have been drawn from the Education Ministry Headquarters, Regional and County Offices.
The government releases close to Sh73 billion annually to the 28,000 schools for the free secondary and primary education. Of this, each learner in secondary schools receive Sh22,244. The schools also collect over Sh100 billion from parents in fees per year. But the principals say the fees payable can not sustain school needs and want it raised. According to a proposal by the National KESSHA chairman, Kahi Indimuli, that was recently presented to the Education Ministry, the principals want the fees in national or extra county schools in urban areas raised by Sh15,848 to Sh91,646 up from Sh75,798. For extra-county schools in other parts of the country, the principals want the charges raised by Sh17,773 from Sh62,679 to Sh80,452. In the Ministry’s 2019 fees guidelines, parents with learners in National schools and extra County schools located in: Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Nyeri, Thika and Eldoret pay a total of KShs. 53,544 per year. While, parents with learners in all other boarding schools part with a maximum of KShs. 40,535 per child in a year.
HOW SCHOOL HEADS AND PRINCIPALS SIPHON OFF PUBLIC FUNDS
According to recent audit reports by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, school heads and principals use dubious means to embezzle public funds by flouting procurement procedures. For instance, the administrators conspire with supplies to inflate prices and quantities of commodities and worse still withdraw money for nonexistent goods and services. Some others draw huge sums of school monies for imaginary projects. In some schools, there are no procurement committees to put checks and balances on purchases as required in public institutions.
The Directorate of Schools Audit was set up in 2016 to crack down on corruption in schools and is tasked with scrutinising the use of the billions of shillings sent to schools.
It examines books of accounts to identify the expenditure leakages and report back to the ministry.