Concerns over grant promise

THE Shiri Guru Nanak Khalsa College and Shiri Guru Nanak Khalsa Primary School management have raised their concerns on the non-payment of school grants promised to the Labasa-based schools in the past.

A letter addressed to the Ministry of Education from the school board president Karnail Singh, secretary and manager Charan Jeath Singh and treasurer Darshan Singh claimed that during an earlier meeting with the ministry’s permanent secretary, they were assured that outstanding funds would be paid.

In the letter, the board revealed their disappointment since the promises had failed to materialise. “The school management has also complied with the demands made after the assurance that the funds would be paid, such as the creation of new separate development accounts. Once again, this was to no avail as funds were not received in these new accounts.”

The letter also revealed four projects were outstanding, awaiting the release of the grants they were promised.

“These projects have all been advanced through relevant channels and have received the necessary approvals from the respective government agencies to proceed,” the letter revealed.

“These approvals have been on hand in the government files since 2015.

“As per the FEMIS and our reconciled records, the funds still owed by the ministry to the schools is $462,896.17.

“The outstanding funds are necessary to continue key projects for the schools and after proceeding through the proper channels and gaining the required approvals through the respective agencies, there should be no reason for the funds to be withheld, especially since the assurance was given that the funds would indeed be paid out.”

* Questions sent to the Attorney-General and Minister for Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on February 26 and on March 7 and March 12 remain unanswered.

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