The Fiji Times » Kumar on grant abuse

Ownership of schools does not give school management the power to abuse government grants, says Education Minister Premila Kumar.

Speaking during her North Division tour, Ms Kumar said she was aware of some schools that were abusing government grants.

Ms Kumar said some schools paid for their staff’s meal and transport allowances from the government grant if they worked overtime.

“We also just found out recently that some schools were paying their support staff a lot more because the grant came from the ministry,” she said.

“The ministry has discovered that some schools are paying their staff meal and transport allowances from the government grant if they work overtime.

“Don’t get me wrong, the school is yours and we recognize that, but that doesn’t mean that when the government grant is given it can be used anyway,” she said.

“That’s why I have to highlight to you some of the changes made by the ministry. For the grants to be released, it will take two signatories.

“From now on, it is essential that the signatory heads of establishment are on the checks so that they can monitor the use of the subsidies. If this is not the case, it will not be communicated to the school principals. Ms. Kumar expressed concern about the number of conflicts that arise between members of school principals.

She shared that the ministry recently had to change the principal of a school three times due to ongoing disputes between the school management.

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