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Teachers in Balaka warned against abusing grants

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Teachers and other stakeholders in Balaka have been warned against abusing Primary School Improvement Programme (Psip) funds.

Balaka District Director of Planning and Development, David Gondwe, said Psip funds should be used to improve quality of education and developing school infrastructure and not to benefit individuals.

“This money is meant to improve schools outlook and quality of education. It should be used for buying text books, desks, employing assistant teachers and rehabilitation of infrastructure amongst others,” Gondwe said.

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He said monitoring and tracking of these funds is done through the council’s internal auditing system and through councillors’ service committee.

With financial help from Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec), councillors in Balaka visited schools to monitor implementation of the Psip projects and account for its funds while those in Machinga monitored school construction projects.

Stanley Nguyeje, Balaka District Council deputy chairperson and school management committee chairman, said after visiting schools in the district, they found that some schools abused the Psip funds and have since been asked to pay back the money or be prosecuted.

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Balaka District Education manager, Dave Nselebo, said all those who abuse the Psip funds should be treated as thieves.

“It’s unfortunate that guidelines for the grants are being flouted in some instances and people are abusing the money instead of purchasing materials to benefit the pupils,” he said.

At least 154 primary schools in 10 zones in Balaka are benefiting from the programme which was established after government abolished tuition fees in primary schools following the Free Primary Education policy.

Csec is running a social accountability programme with focus on education in Machinga, Lilongwe and Balaka.

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