Csec survey uncovers financial abuse over Schools Improvement Fund:  MPs demands transparency on Grants

The Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec)  survey has revealed rampant abuse of Schools Improvement Grants(SIG).

Members of Parliament , CSEC officials in a photo after the interface on Schools Imprisonment Grants meeting

The survey which was funded by Swedish Development Partners was presented to the media, members of parliament, donors and other stakeholders in Lilongwe.

According to  Csec Board Chairperson Julie Juma and executive director Benedicto Kondowe, the organisation used multi stage sampling approach to identify key respondents targeted central, districts, zonal and school level functions  and 126 people were interviewed.

In terms of allocation , the base rate per school is K60 000 for an enrollment threshold of 1 000 pupils and for any additional pupil, receives K300.

In the 2016/17 national budget Ministry of Education Science and Technology was allocated K146.2Billion which included both development and reccurent expenditure.

The amount was shared amongst the four programmes within the vote and out of the basic education share , K90.3billion went to Primary Education.

According to the findings, most schools have no expenditure reports as evidence for their expenditure which raises concerns as regards the level of accountability and transparency.

The survey also found high consumption and utilization.

Csec has since given Ministry of Education various recommendations for it to implement.

Some of the recommendations include training of staff managing the SIG.

Giving their comments during the plenary session, Members of Parliament called for transparency on the management of these fund.

Chairperson of Parliamentary Education Committee Elias Chakwera said the purpose of SIG is to expand equitable access to education, and improve governance and management of the system to enable efficient delivery of services.

“SIG’s purpose is to, among others, ensure that schools manage additional teaching and learning materials, teacher trainings and infrastructure improvement to match with the growing enrolment,” said Chakwera.

He promised to incorporate the findings and recommendations of the study in a report to Parliament for action.

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