Under the Southern Province specific development provisions each school was awarded Rs., 2 million each and 77 schools received this allocation.
These funds were allocated to upgrade the facilities for the students of these schools. Among them were the renovation of the toilet facilities. Renovation of class rooms and to fulfil the desks and chairs shortage. However, the Education Ministry said that instead of utilising these funds for the school development, the principles had used it to partition their rooms and tile them and air-condition their rooms. The parents had complained to the Southern Education Ministry stating that these principals expect the [parents to repair the classrooms, despite allocations being made for this purpose.
The 77 schools with low level facilities were selected in Elpitiya, Ambalangoda, Udugama, Galle, Matara, Mulatiyana, Deniyaya, Akuressa, Walasmulla, Tangalle and Hambantota belonging to 11 education zones. The funds were to upgrade the facilities for the students.
The cheques had been handed over to the principals by the Zonal Education Directors and while relevant circulars had specified the purpose of these allocations, some of the principals had arbitrarily used these funds as they pleased flouting the instructions on the circular. The Southern Education Ministry said that they had already received complains that these funds were being misappropriated.
The Mahawila Primary school in the Elpitiya Education Zone, Ganegoda Bogaha Handiya Primary school, Marthupitiya Primary School, Magala North Vidyalaya, Kekandola Primary School and Amugoda Maha Vidyalaya had been provided Rs. 2 million for renovation but instead, the principals of these schools had used the funds to renovate and air-condition their rooms.
Therefore, the Southern Province Education Ministry has been instructed to investigate this matter and initiate disciplinary action against these principals.
These funds were provided to upgrade the facilities of these poor schools. The circulars had specified the required renovations that needed to be carried out. However some of these principals had violated these instructions and had used the funds to upgrade their rooms. They were given instructions to prioritise the water facilities, sanitary facilities and other class-room facilities for the children.
However, these principals had used the labour and contributions of the parents. Hence, a disciplinary inquiry would be held and appropriate action would be initiated against the principals who had flouted the instructions of the circular,” the official said.
Jayakantha Liyanage- Balapitiya Corr.