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Kitgum RDC stops USE grant over ghost students

By Wokorach-Oboi

Added 10th June 2017 05:12 PM

I have given instruction to municipal authorities to immediately stop payment of more grants. To me, I call this a ghost school

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I have given instruction to municipal authorities to immediately stop payment of more grants. To me, I call this a ghost school

Kitgum resident district commissioner (RDC) has directed the municipal town clerk to stop remitting the USE capitation grant to Kitgum mixed secondary school over alleged ghost students. 

William Komakech gave the directive while on an impromptu schools inspection with a team from the municipality on Thursday. He also ordered that past grants totaling about sh54m be recovered from the school.

When the team arrived mid-morning at the about 10-years-old school, there was not a single student or teacher present. Only the school watchman was at the private school, with just one building to its name, located in Pandwong division.

“I have given instruction to municipal authorities to immediately stop payment of more grants. To me, I call this a ghost school because a school is not a building; a school must accommodate pupils or students,” Komakech said.

He noted that according to a school census conducted about three months back, it showed the school had 255 registered students then. “You can now wonder where the over 250 students are; not even a footmark on the compound,” he said.

The RDC further instructed the municipal education officer to remove the solar system and laboratory equipment that are support from the government and give them to another school that can make better use of them. Laboratory equipment were lying scattered on the office floor.

The town clerk, Stephen Lokope described the situation at Kitgum mixed S.S. as “unfortunate” since government has been spending a lot of money to finance activities of the school.

“From our observation the school seems to be non-existent because there is no person we have found; not even a single student in the class. And because of that, we are going to first of all to suspend the funding to the school and then make a follow up on recovering the monies that we have been sending to them,” Lokope said.

The head-teacher, David Orac said 10 students spread across senior one to four had so far reported this school term. He said at least 60 students completed last school term but added that most had left school when teachers failed to teach them. 

He revealed to journalists that part of the grant was used to pay teachers’ salaries, after they had refused to teach last year and in first term this year due to nonpayment. 

The inspection team also visited two other private schools; Oxfard College and Crane High School in Pager division. At Oxfard, Senior one and two students share a large hall not partitioned as they turn their backs to each other. The two schools are also under probe for possible misuse of the USE funds, the town clerk said.

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