Four primary schools in Ipyana Zone have cried foul over Karonga District Council’s failure to remit last financial year’s school improvement grants (SIG) worth about K600 000 each.
The affected schools are Mwenilondo, Karonga Demonstration, Chisalankhanga and Mphwero in Karonga Central Constituency.
In an interview, teachers and parents at Mwenilondo Primary School said the suspicious delay to remit K700 000 has disrupted the buying of teaching and learning materials as well as renovation of school blocks and teachers’ houses.
Govt to construct Chihana mausoleum
The whistleblowers said they struggled in vain to get the council to disburse the SIG. Mwenelondo received the 2018/19 grant in bits allegedly because it was deposited in a wrong bank account, but got no tambala for the 2019/20 school improvement plan.
“Every time the parents-teacher association [PTA] presses for this, we are told to wait for the 2020/21 SIG. We fear this money might be abused,” said a teacher.
PTA chairperson Chance Kayira confirmed the setback, saying it looks suspicious.
Mwenilondo deputy head teacher Innocent Kondowe said over 10 meetings with the district director of education have yielded nothing.
He explained: “This has crippled our learning and teaching process, maintenance works and Covid-19 response.
“Last time we went there, we were asked to submit a bank statement for May to August, which we did but in vain.”
When asked, Karonga District Council director of finance Andrew Mhango said the funding for Mwenilondo strayed into a wrong bank account.
“Efforts to retrieve the money are at an advanced stage. Any day next week, the school will get the money,” he said without disclosing the school which may have received the money meant for Mwenilondo.
Mphwero head teacher William Mwalilino said his school is owed K633 000.