Ghosts run away with K50 million of Tuition free fees

Well over  K50 million allocated for the Government’s tuition fee-free policy is unaccounted for because of “ghost teachers”, Education Minister Nick Kuman says.
Kuman also blames the Education Department’s “unreliable and outdated data baseline” for the mistakes. He revealed this yesterday in Lae when opening a senior education officers’ conference.
“There is more than K50 million wasted and unaccounted for, all paid out to ghost enrolment figures,” Kuman said.
“This is unethical and as senior administrators, your responsibility is to monitor and scrutinise this at your levels,” Kuman said.
“There is a possible collusion at the provincial level where standard officers and provincial officers do not apply any rule of validation, but simply sign (them) off as accurate.
“I challenge you to get your baseline data correct and be accountable in dispensing your responsibilities.”
He said a national school survey showed that only 11 districts out of the 89 had submitted their data.
“We must have a database system in all schools in all provinces as we have a 40-year data which is still not reliable,” he said.
“We’ve not yet got a baseline data for each school in the provinces. The TFF has allowed the mushrooming of new schools, particularly elementary schools and secondary schools being built without following due process and procedures. 
“Hence, it has compromised standards and quality. The system must not be managed on an ad-hoc basis. It must be based on sustainable plans and proactive leadership.”
Kuman said the ban on school project fees was still in effect but the Government was now encouraging agency schools to liaise with the department in order to impose “agency fees”.

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