terça-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2008

Double standards feared in handling of education fraud cases in Karas

THE manner in which theft cases involving staff members are handled at the Karas regional education office has raised eyebrows among some employees.

According to a well-placed source, the regional education office recently laid criminal charges against two employees who allegedly embezzled close to N$37 000.

It is alleged that the two had deposited cheques belonging to teachers into a third party's bank account.

In contrast, a Circuit Inspector's daughter, who allegedly embezzled N$35 000 at the Karasburg Senior Secondary School, only faced internal disciplinary measures, the source said.

According to minutes of the disciplinary hearing leaked to The Namibian, Estelle Titus was found guilty of misconduct for "failing to adhere to treasury instructions".

She allegedly failed to deposit school development fund fees into the regional education office's bank account.

Titus was demoted from full-time to part-time secretary.

According to the source, no criminal case was laid either against a school principal who had allegedly failed to bank N$2 368 into his school's development fund in 2005.

When asked for comment about the alleged disparities in handling theft cases, Education Deputy Director Celi Mostert said the onus lay with the school board to register a criminal case when school development fund fees were misappropriated.

"The school board is legally entrusted with the school development fund fees, thus the onus lies with it whether to lay a criminal case or not," she said.

Mostert said the latest embezzlement case had involved staffers at the regional education office, which had decided to order a criminal investigation into the case.

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