Kenya

How headteachers plotted to 'steal' school cash

How headteachers plotted to 'steal' school cash

Summary

  • Earlier, there were reports that there are more than 72,000 teachers employed by boards of management (BoM) across the country.
  • Early this month, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang’ asked school heads to collect and submit data of BoM teachers employed by the institutions.

A scheme by some school heads to swindle the government of funds has led to a delay in the release of cash for paying teachers and other staff employed by Boards of Management.

According to Education ministry, the headteachers submitted exaggerated lists of staff, prompting an audit that now has taken weeks.

“What is holding the money is the unverified data that was submitted to us from the field viz-a-viz the data we have with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). We have received a humongous list from the field, including teachers who are not enrolled with TSC,” Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia tweeted recently.

“This means heads of schools sent untrue or illegitimate data, meaning that money would have gone to the wrong people, or more people than is the reality, denying the genuine beneficiaries their right.”

The ministry noticed huge discrepancies in the data submitted by school heads and it now says it is in the final stages of cleaning it up before releasing the money to pay the staff,  who have gone without pay since schools were closed in March.

Earlier, there were reports that there are more than 72,000 teachers employed by boards of management (BoM) across the country.

Non-existent teachers

However, fresh details have emerged to show that the number could be much lower as school heads might have given lists of non-existent teachers.

The ministry is also looking into the likelihood of some schools employing teachers who are not registered with the TSC, in contravention of the law.

“Once we have the right data, the funds will be channelled to school’s accounts for the payment to start,” Mr Kinuthia said yesterday.

The development has caused anxiety among school heads after the National Education Management Information System indicated two weeks ago that the institutions had received Sh3,725 and Sh1 per student for operations and tuition respectively; before the data was reversed the following day. The ministry is yet to give information on whether schools will be allocated money based on their enrolment or staffing needs.

Early this month, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang’ asked school heads to collect and submit data of BoM teachers employed by the institutions.

The details included the teachers’ names, TSC number and the county they belong to. The principals were also to indicate the number of teachers they have in their schools.

“The funds for the teachers are available and the ministry is ready to release them to schools,” said Mr Kinuthia

Safe reopening

Reports had indicated that the government will release Sh15.4 billion to schools of which Sh13.3 billion will be for the preparation of safe reopening.

The budget for BoM teachers’ salaries and other non-teaching staff is Sh2.2 billion, with the teachers being allocated Sh750 million.

Meanwhile, the deadline for teachers to register at the sub-county and zonal offices for the community-based learning lapsed on Monday.

Mr Kinuthia said the ministry is ready to roll out the programme and asked parents to ensure that their children participate fully.

“This programme will equip our children with life skills before schools reopen in January.”