SCHOOL Development Committees may soon be banned from handling levies as Government moves to arrest abuse of funds in schools. Government wants all funds deposited in one account it controls with schools expected to apply when they want to use the funds. However, the plans are still at infancy stage but consultations are already underway. An SDC chairperson at a Harare school confirmed the development.
“There are plans to have school levies deposited into one bank account owned and controlled by Government. The reasons being given are that it will help in combating abuse of the funds,” said the SDC chairperson, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“If there is need for funds to buy anything at a school, authorities at the school are expected to apply to Government. This will cause a lot of problems as it might take time for Government to release the money at the expense of development at the school,” added the source.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora, when contacted for comment, said the whole matter was still being researched. “We cannot be adopting (the position) while we are on an outreach programme, so it is not really a newspaper issue since we are still at the roll-out stage for the blueprints.”
Reports on abuse of school funds have been dominating the media of late with headmasters and SDC members at times implicated in the scam. The SDCs are reportedly opposed to the idea.
Recently, a Seke 1 High school headmaster, Mr Chrispen Taruvinga, was accused of abusing $211 000 in levies. He would allegedly inflate prices for goods and services prejudicing the school thousands of dollars. This saw the ministry dispatching a team of investigators to Seke.
Last year, Government also dispatched auditors to all schools in the country to investigate their books of accounts and take corrective measures.
The findings of the audit are yet to be made public.