Sunday, 22 May 2016


A primary school in Gwanda, St Christopher Government School — has blown more than $10 000 on tea and isitshwala for teachers and staff members in one year as part of incentivising them after the Government scrapped monetary incentives in 2014. 

A decision to offer tea and lunch to motivate the 27 teachers and 21 supporting staff was reached by the School Development Committee last year. According to an SDC account which was audited by officials from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the school has gobbled $10 281 for the past year, meaning they were using an average of $3 800 per term.

This has, however, angered some parents after the account also showed that $2 578 was used to repair just five classroom doors. The statement showed that as at 31 December the school raised $176 627.95 during the year and spent $171.951 leaving only $ 4 676.13 in the account. Pupils pay $45 as fees and $10 levy for day scholars.

Parents who attended the meeting which was held last Monday said they were not amused by the expenditure by the school authorities on the teachers’ meals and other expenses.

“How could staff spend such an amount on their meals instead of channelling the money to needy areas at the school? What type of food do they eat which cost all that money,” said a parent who said he was representing the aggrieved and spoke on condition of anonymity for fear his child could be victimised.

Contacted for comment the school’s head a Mr Manda referred questions to the SDC.

However, SDC chairman Mr Brian Masango said there was nothing amiss with the figure as it was according to the budget they got from the canteen.

“Our teachers get their tea and sandwiches at tea break. They then get their lunch and the teacher who will be on duty also gets dinner. We got that budget from the canteen and everything is above board as it was done according to that budget. We also give our borders meals from the same money and they are about 100 of them,” said Mr Masango.

However, verification with the SDC account statement revealed that the money used was for staff members only. It was listed as: “Staff teas and meals” without any mention of pupils.

Mr Masango added that they have since received a directive from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to stop providing meals to teachers except for the tea.

“It’s going to end this term since we have already provided the budget from them,” said Mr Masango. sunday news


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