List Of Ghost schools used by rogue officials To steal billions From Tax payers
The 2018 parliamentary report gave a glimpse into how long corrupt education officials have been stealing public funds using nonexistent schools.
A publisher, who had been contracted to supply books reported to the Education ministry in 2018 that they could not trace four schools on the ground even after making enquiries to local education officials.
It’s unclear whether action was ever taken on that expose, but the matter has only come public this month following an investigation by a parliamentary watchdog that exposed how a rogue official stole free education cash channeled to one of the fictitious schools- Mundeku Secondary School in Kakamega.
Other schools fictious schools so far exposed include;
- Belgut Kaptugen Starehe Boys in Belgut Sub-county Kericho County (152 students)
- Ikonge DEB in Kisii Central, Kisii County (448 students)
- Dol Dol Boys in Laikipia North, Laikipia County (64 students).
A list given to publishers to supply books to schools under Secondary Quality Improvement Programme (SEQIP), for example, indicated that Mundeku had an enrolment of 1,188 students. Such high enrolment numbers are usually registered in national and a few extra-county schools. Considering that the government allocates Sh22,244 per learner in secondary school, the money lost to the rogue official could be more. The auditor had actually put the figure at Sh27,329,598.95 before the ministry submitted the lesser figure.
The failure by the Ministry of Education to fully migrate to the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) is now blamed for the theft of billions of taxpayers’ money pocketed by corrupt officials and school heads, according to the report by the Public Accounts Committee.
The Public Accounts Committee Report on the Examination of the Auditor-General’s Report on the Financial Statements for the National Government for the Financial Year 2017/2018, shows that lack of accurate data on learners has led to loss of the money through manipulation of data. In one extreme and daring case, a former clerical officer at the directorate of education offices in Kakamega County listed a non-existent school in the disbursement schedule through which he would receive funds.
The report also noted that another officer had been interdicted for inflating the enrolment data for 185 schools, resulting in the overpayment of Sh269,254,288. The cases have been referred to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for further investigation. The report was tabled before Parliament last week by the chair of the committee, Opiyo Wandayi.
“The ministry has been using a computer programme that heavily relies on manual input of school data into the programme by officers from MoE headquarters to disburse funds to primary schools. This mode of payment has been prone to errors,” the Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education, Julius Jwan said.
In the Kakamega case, the clerical officer identified a loophole in the government system for disbursing funds to schools and registered Mundeku Secondary School. He then opened an account at Equity Bank through which he would receive the money.
The PAC report shows that the man fraudulently received Sh11,131,305.53. It, however, does not state how long the ‘school’ was in government records and how it avoided the attention of auditors.
Late last year, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha put the money lost yearly through manipulation of student numbers at Sh752,594,740. He also said that the ministry had established that enrolment had been inflated by 529,997. He, however, did not say how long this had been going on.