ACCOUNTABILITY

LEADER: Magoha is right: Appoint school finance managers

The country is grappling with runaway corruption and schools have not been spared.

In Summary

• The ministry will deploy a finance manager to each school to improve accountability and reduce vested interests.

• Some school heads have been accused of engaging in unscrupulous activities to make money, such as hiring out school buses, paid holiday and remedial tuition and collusion with suppliers of textbooks and uniforms.

Education CS George Magoha
CAUTION: Education CS George Magoha
Image: JACK OWUOR

The Ministry of Education has proposed that headteachers of public schools should not manage funds. They should take their hands off school money and focus on their core mandate of supervising teaching and learning.

The ministry will deploy a finance manager to each school to improve accountability and reduce vested interests.

This is welcome. To begin with, all teachers, including school heads, are answerable to the Teachers Service Commission.

 
 

But it is the ministry that disburses money to schools, yet it cannot directly supervise its use. If there is a problem, the ministry cannot hold a principal accountable. It can only request the TSC to act.

The new proposal seeks to solve this problem by having a dedicated officer accountable directly to the ministry.

The country is grappling with runaway corruption and schools have not been spared. Some school heads have been accused of engaging in unscrupulous activities to make money, such as hiring out school buses, paid holiday and remedial tuition, collusion with suppliers of textbooks and uniforms, leasing out school land or getting a cut from development projects.

Any initiative to curb corruption in schools should be supported.

School heads should see the ministry’s finance manager not as a supervisor or competitor but as a professional partner for better management of schools.