6 December 2012

Tanzania: PS Warns Education Officials Over Funds

PUBLIC officials who swindle funds meant for the education sector should stay warned as the government gets tough on mismanagement of funds meant to improve the sector.

The Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Regional Administration and Local Governments (PMO-RALG), Mr Jumanne Sagini, made the remarks here while officiating at the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED)'s 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM).

In a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Education Coordination Department in the PMO-RALG, Mr Bernard Makali, the PS expressed concerns that some dishonest public officials have been swindling funds allocated to the sector. "Mismanagement of funds will be dealt with accordingly and still actions will be taken on the offenders," Mr Sagini said.

On the other hand, Mr Sagini hailed CAMFED for supporting the government to ensure that students from poor families have access to education, which would enable them recognize their opportunities. On the other hand, Mr Sagini said the government will no longer tolerate men who impregnate schoolgirls as well as parents of impregnated girls who fail to cooperate with authorities to apprehend the culprits.

"I call upon parents to cooperate with the government to ensure that men who impregnate schoolgirls are brought to book," the PS said. Speaking earlier, CAMFED Tanzania's Board Chairperson, Dr Stella Bendera, decried embezzlement of funds for beneficiaries of its projects.

"Mismanagement of funds meant for beneficiaries are among challenges facing us. Some heads of schools are the main culprits," Dr Bendera said. The CAMFED board chair also expressed concerns on drop-outs, pregnancies and failures among students supported by the non-governmental organization (NGO).

This year alone, the organization has supported 3,326 girls across ten districts in four regions, by providing for them school fees, pocket money, school uniforms and other materials. The Handeni District Commissioner, Mr Muhingo Rweyemamu, hailed CAMFED for providing bursaries and books in his district.

"The organization has played a great role in my district to ensure that students from poor families have access to education," Mr Rweyemamu, who was among DCs at the meeting, said. The AGM drew about 140 participants from 10 districts namely Iringa Rural and Kilolo in Iringa Region, Kilombero, Kilosa and Morogoro Rural in Morogoro Region as well as Pangani and Handeni in Tanga Region and Bagamoyo, Kibaha and Rufiji in Coast Region.

CAMFED was established in Zimbabwe in the year 1993 by British philanthropist, Ms Ann Cotton, who was dedicated to enable vulnerable girls from poor families to access education and realize their opportunities in life. The NGO now operates in five African countries including Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Malawi and Zambia.

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