Education ministry doles out money and forgets

2018-05-02

Republica National Daily

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KATHMANDU, May 2: The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has provided millions of rupees in grants to various organizations in a suspicious manner in the current fiscal year. It has also failed to monitor the use of and progress made with those grants meant for social development.

The MoEST provided different schemes of grants to various organizations in the current fiscal year, according to the annual report of the Office of Auditor General (OAG). But it failed to monitor the use and progress of the funds. 

The MoEST issued a grant of Rs 203 million to an NGO registered under the Organization Registration Act 2034BS, according to the OAG report. The NGO is Shahid Pratishthan Nepal, which claimed it provides free education to 1,420 students and hostel facilities free of cost, saying it needs to build infrastructures. "The ministry allowed the NGO to operate the school without formulating any policy about the grants given to the NGO," says the report.

Similarly, the MoEST provided Rs 29 million to 60 libraries, Gurukuls and Biddhyashrams in the current fiscal year but it did not monitor their activities, evaluate their progress and audit their accounts. The conditional grants should be returned to the main fund if it is not spent in the current fiscal year, says the OAG report.

Likewise, the ministry issued Rs 20 million to Budhanilkantha School for building construction, Rs 15 million to Gandaki Boarding School for building construction, computers and other equipment, Rs 1.5 million to Swargadwari Ashram for building construction, and Rs 1.5 million to five libraries and two organizations for books and furniture in the current fiscal year. However, the ministry did not monitor the use of the grants provided. 

The MoEST also provided scholarship grants of Rs 50 million to Budhanilkantha School, Rs 11 million to Gandaki Boarding School, Rs 11.2 million to 16 medical students to study in China, Rs 2 million for Nepal Sangeet Vidyalaya, Rs 4 million to other five schools, Rs 400,000 to Chinese students in the current fiscal year, according to the OAG report. But it neither monitored nor evaluated the use of grants.