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Corruption in education a concern

24 February 2014, 07:00



While it may appear that the Department of Education is the most corrupt department in government, statistics have shown that it is not. I would like to believe that the reason it appears to be so corrupt might be because they are not very good in concealing their corruption. Having said that, corruption in this department is very rife. The way things are, it is really scary. The Eastern Cape Department of Education ‘seems’ to be taking the best award for being the most corrupt. Some officials in conjunction with school principals have set themselves to be very corrupt, especially in handling finances entrusted to their care. It is really bad.

The corruption recently exposed at Zwelibongile Senior Secondary School is not unique to that school only. Even other neighbouring schools in the area are just as corrupt. School fees are being embezzled in many ways for other reasons other than what they were intended for. School principals are the leading culprits as they are the Accounting Officers in their school. They literally have their hands on the millions being put into those schools. The Department’s failure to do proper auditing results in these greedy individuals taking advantage of the situation. Some are building their own mansions using school money. It is a sad state of affairs. Some are misusing these funds being assisted by the same Officials they should be accountable to. When these very same principals are caught, they end up involving everyone and making the lives of innocent teachers miserable, as if those teachers were also involved in wastage. These principals literally make the schools ungovernable.  The situation at Zwelibongile SSS, if properly dealt with, should serve as a lesson to other corrupt principals and Officials. What has happened there is very sad indeed – with teachers being stoned in their staff-room by the same students they are supposed to be teaching. If it wasn’t for the parent who came and spoke some sense to those students those teachers would have been torched to death. At their principal was not among them.

While the situation at Zwelibongile SSS was not about the misuse of school money only, other issues were as a consequence of poor administration and management by the School Manager (principal). They emanate from poor management. Teachers left on their own will neglect their duties. There is a need for monitoring, control and evaluation of the work that educators are expected to do. Those are key factors to proper management. Failure to do those basics will lead to chaos and relegation and neglect of duty. People, as old as they are must be managed. That is why we have school managers. Most of these school managers do little in managing the school and spend a lot time mismanaging the school money.  

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