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Step Down If You Abused Funds: Reddy To Managers

School managers attending the Northern School Management Association meeting in Labasa on Wednesday were advised to step down if they had abused school funds. Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts,
14 Oct 2016 11:00
Step Down If You Abused Funds: Reddy To Managers
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy (sitting-middle) with the school managers at the Northern School Management Association meeting at Labasa College hall in Labasa yesterday. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU

School managers attending the Northern School Management Association meeting in Labasa on Wednesday were advised to step down if they had abused school funds.

Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy, said there were some honest school managers who did so.

It was revealed at the meeting that the Ministry had appointed a full-time auditor to be based in Labasa because there were a number of reports of those allegedly misusing grants.

“If anyone of you is involved in the abuse of funds, please inform us and step down so that someone else can be appointed,” Mr Reddy said.

“There was a school manager in the Western Division who bought a cow and gave it to his relative. When he was caught, he sold the cow to refund the money to the school.

“We want to see that school managers ensure that the money we give are utilised for the improvement of the school infrastructure. We are sad and concerned that the money that the Government is giving has been misused.

Mr Reddy said reports received revealed that school managers were giving contractors to family members, owned by their wives or children.

“More than a thousand dollars are paid to contractors without providing three quotations. Managers are employing their children as auxiliary staff and the early childhood education teachers are family members or relatives,” Mr Reddy revealed.

“Audits undertaken showed that there is no record of money utilised and no supportive documents.

“Cash cheques are written to construction companies which has a common bank account.

“Why do you have to write a cash cheque to Vinod Patel and Company?

“We want you to retire peacefully,” Mr Reddy told the managers.

“I want to you to put children’s interest first.

“Money is provided for the enhancement of teaching and learning,” Mr Reddy said.

He added they had changed the grant formula to avoid abuse of funds.

“We want to work with you but you have to ensure that money is used wisely.

“We are looking at making a policy about how early childhood education teachers and auxiliary staff can be recruited,” Mr Reddy said.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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