Misuse of funds rampant in state schools’

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KATHMANDU, APR 13 – District Education Offices (DEOs) have been found misusing government funds in thousands of governmentschools in garb of fake admissions.

The report of the Auditor General made public on Sunday shows 47 DEOs misused over Rs 3 million last year in the name of textbooks and other Per Capita Funding for 201,383 students who never attended schools .

Although just 967,243 students studied in the districts, the DEOs exaggerated the figure to 1.16 million and received around Rs 97.41 million for the PCF under miscellaneous headings and Rs 64.70 million for textbooks, the report says.

It has also revealed that 39 DEOs, including the ones in Kathmandu, Bara and Jumla, released Rs 45.81 million more than what is needed to pay salaries to teachers. Twenty-two DEOs were found to have paid salaries to 118 teachers who had already retired from job, incurring a loss of Rs 5.45 million to the state.

While the Department of Education (DoE) has claimed that there are no fake schoolsanymore, the DEO Mahottari has been found releasing over Rs 2.21 million for the school that never existed.

The irregularity does not stop there. The DEOs in 19 districts were found to be conveniently taking and misusing millions of rupees in funds provided for students’ mid-day meals.

The DEOs were found to have claimed the budget at the rate of Rs 12 a day for each child for up to 200 days whereas the total schools days were merely 105 on an average.

The AG report has also highlighted that out of Rs 5.29 billion released for the infrastructure development under School Sector Reform Programme, around Rs 3.18 billion has been invested without presenting any progress report, raising suspicion over misuse of the government funds.