The National, Wednesday July 31st, 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
PRIMARY and secondary school headmasters and principals in Morobe will be sacked if they fail to acquit free fee tuition subsidies, an official warned yesterday.
This was the stern warning from Morobe education adviser Murika Bihoro when he clarified a recent statement on the matter.
He had criticised the late release of funds to Morobe schools by the Education Department, saying they should not focus on getting acquittals from schools in order to release their next batch of subsidies.
Acting Education Secretary Dr Michael Tapo this week rebutted Bihoro’s statement, saying all schools throughout the country should use the cash book and the financial reporting template to acquit their quarterly subsidies under the government’s tuition free fee policy.
Tapo said acquitting fees spent was compulsory under the Finance Management Act 195 and headmasters and principals who failed to comply would be disciplined under the Teachers Service Act 1988.
Bihoro responded to Tapo’s statement, saying: “I didn’t undermine the Finance Management Act, schools must acquit their funds, I didn’t say acquittals are not important, I am saying that the responsibility is with the schools administration. That’s their responsibility and it’s bad in terms of management.
“What I am saying is that schools have already started without their funds given. They can’t borrow. There is nothing for free these days.
“If head teachers and principals don’t acquit we will hold them accountable. Students are innocent. The head teachers are responsible for the management so they have to acquit. They will acquit. If they don’t, they don’t have a job.”
Bihoro confirmed that some schools received their funds last week but could not confirm the number of schools which had received or were yet to receive their funds.