MEAC negligent in procurement of materials

20 Mar 2019 18:50pm
WINDHOEK, 20 MAR (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture was negligent in ensuring consistency with ordering school materials, according to the ministry’s audit report for the 2014/15 to 2016/17 financial years.
The report on audit done by the auditor general in the Khomas, Erongo and Kavango East regions was submitted to the National Assembly by Deputy Minister of Finance, Natangwe Ithete recently.
The materials included cleaning materials, stationery and textbooks.
It said non-repairing of furniture resulted in shortages at the visited schools, further resulting in learners using broken furniture in the classrooms.
Only two out of 30 schools in the Hardap Region were assisted with desk tops to repair broken desks.
Eighteen of the 30 schools did not receive any assistance to repair broken furniture.
“The audit observed broken furniture pilling up and rusting on school premises,” the report reads.
Another concern was that schools may deplete their Universal Primary Education Grant and Universal Secondary Education Grant funds if they are not assisted with the necessary materials to enable them to repair furniture.
According to the report, the ministry never enforced the penalty clause for textbook suppliers.
“The audit found that this clause has never been enforced during the period under review. As was found in the main study and from interviews, the ministry still conducts meetings with the textbook suppliers in the case where due dates were not adhered to,” it further reads.
However, the ministry could not provide minutes for these meetings or reasons for the delays.
“Lack of enforcing the penalty clause may result in textbook suppliers not delivering on time and therefore resulting in schools not having the required textbooks at the start of the new school year,” it further explained.
The penalty clause is payable by all suppliers who do not adhere to the set agreement of delivery time which should be within three months and/or before schools commence in the new calendar year.
Meanwhile, the Khomas, Erongo and Hardap regions did not have a distributor for the delivery of school materials because of budget constraints and thus, the regional offices were without school materials.