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Secondary Schools Misuse UGX 2 Billion Development Fund

Over two billion shillings designated for construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in secondary schools has been misused by the beneficiaries, according to a value-for-money audit by the Auditor General.
Over two billion shillings designated for construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in secondary schools has been misused by the beneficiaries, according to a value-for-money audit by the Auditor General.

 

According to the report released in December 2016, 1.27 billion shillings was diverted to other activities; another 509.6 million shillings was never utilised or absorbed by the beneficiary schools while expenditure amounting to 338 million shillings could not be explained.

  

The money was disbursed by the Ministry of Education and Sports under the development of secondary education programme (DSE).

  

The money is part of the 27.9 billion shillings disbursed to both schools and the Ministry of Education for implementing DSE activities during the financial years 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15.

  

Among the schools which diverted the funds is Katakwi High School in Katakwi district where 29.8 million shillings was spent on examination invigilation, allowances and refreshments. As a result of this the school owes the contractor.

  

At Bukinda Senior Secondary School in Kabale district, the report says more than 27 million shillings was spent by the head teacher on other school activities.  These funds could have been used for completion of the multipurpose hall.

 

The report further explains that the Ministry of Education diverted over 1.2 billion shillings which was used for activities not related to construction of schools. These funds could have provided extra infrastructure in the schools or for monitoring construction activities.

 

While highlighting cases of under absorption of disbursed funds, the report cites 322 million shillings which remained unutilised by Lapono Seed School in Agago district. Due to delays in the procurement of contractors, according to the report, the funds were still unutilised by the end of the financial year 2012/2013.

  

 “The funds were returned to the consolidated fund. Construction works meant to be completed within a one-year period have remained incomplete three years later,” the report says.

 

The same applies to Bukinda Secondary School in Kabale which was allocated 33.7 million shillings, but it remained unutilised due to lack of capacity by the school to absorb the funds. The multipurpose hall for which these funds were disbursed still remains incomplete.

 

In Kisozi Seed School in Gomba district, 153 million shillings remained unutilized because of the slow progress of works. “In the event that this money is returned to the consolidated fund there will be further delays in completion of the project,” says the Auditor General in the report.

 

Cases of unexplained expenditure are also highlighted in the report, with Amwa Comprehensive School in Lira district failing to avail records for audit to review. As a result, the auditors were unable to make a conclusive assessment on the utilisation of the 200 million shillings disbursed to the school over a three-year period.

  

At Kitgum High School, the report says 97 million shillings released by the Ministry of Education to the school in the 2012/2013 financial year could not be traced on the school's bank statements.

  

The audit focused on the measures taken by the Ministry of Education through DSE to improve secondary school infrastructure in selected secondary schools. The study focused on the three financial years of 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15.

  

Following the introduction of the Universal Primary Education in 1997, enrollment in primary schools soared from 2.7 million to over seven million pupils. This mass enrollment at primary level exerted pressure on the existing infrastructure and created additional need for infrastructure at secondary school level. It prompted the sector to undertake strategies of how to enhance access to secondary education as a way of sustaining the gains under the UPE programme.

 

Among these strategies was the implementation of the Development of Secondary Education (DSE) programme to address the emerging infrastructure needs.

 

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