Schooling the ‘Babus’: Officials of education department to be ‘taught’ fund utilization

Srinagar: The School Education department is mulling to start a crash course for its officials having drawing and disbursing powers, for proper utilization of funds released under various schemes.

The development comes at a time when the enquiry and monitoring wing of the Department along with crime and state vigilance Department are probing over 200 cases of fund embezzlement involving many officials.

“The officers enjoying drawing and disbursing powers at Zonal level and at schools will be trained in Institute of Management and Public Administration (IMPA),” a senior officer of the department said.

The department has taken up the matter with IMPA for holding a workshop for ZEOs and Headmasters initially.

Interestingly, around 200 cases of fund embezzlement are being probed in the department related to misappropriation of funds in various centrally sponsored schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhiyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Mid-Day Meals (MDM) besides other schemes.

“ZEOs including those who are already retired are involved in fund embezzlement cases and cases are still under trial in the Department,” the official said.

He said the retired officials involved in misappropriation of funds are denied pension and gratuity.

“Some of the cases were registered in past years but are yet undecided while as embezzled money is being recovered from some accused as well,” the official said.

 Besides swindling money under civil works of SSA and RMSA, the officials are showing bogus enrollment of students in schools in MDM balance sheets.

“The authorities in the department are not happy with it. They are looking for measures to end this menace in the department,” the official said.

“We are hopeful it will bring some change so that funds are properly utilized.”

Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK), G N Itoo confirmed the development and said the ZEOs and headmasters are not trained for the job despite enjoying DDO powers.

“When we revive complaints of fund embezzlement against any ZEO or headmaster, they plead innocence and once we go by their statements one feels that are not well versed with technicalities of the job and land in trouble,” Itoo said.

He said they have taken up the matter with IMPA and will finalize the dates for trainings very soon.

“We were supposed to conduct this training in past but it was delayed due to the ongoing exams,” G N Itoo said.



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